On May 17, 2023, a cooperation protocol was signed between the Romanian Patriarchate and the Department for Romanians Abroad, represented by Patriarch Daniel of Romania and Secretary of State Gheorghe-Florin Cârciu.
Constantly mindful of the significance of fostering identity consciousness and strengthening ties with Romanians outside of Romania, the Romanian Patriarchate, through its diocesan-organized Romanian Orthodox parishes in the diaspora, ensures the spiritual, cultural, and national identity of Romanians everywhere.
Together with the church in the heart, the Romanian Orthodox Church also strives to build places of worship in communities where Romanians reside, allowing every Romanian Orthodox Christian abroad to be able to listen to divine services in their mother tongue, to confess and receive Holy Communion in a Romanian community, thereby maintaining the connection with the Mother Church.
The Department for Romanians Abroad, through its competencies and attributions regarding the elaboration and application of the policy of the Romanian State in the field of relations with the Romanian communities outside Romania’s borders, supports the activity of Romanians everywhere and grants non-reimbursable funding and other means of financial support, in compliance with the principles of free competition, efficiency, transparency, and equal treatment.
All these considerations made that, through this cooperation protocol, the parties affirm their intention and shared desire to identify the steps necessary to support the Romanian Orthodox communities abroad, the main objective being the coordination of the efforts of the two institutions to use the specific expertise and skills for the development of joint projects and actions, leading to the strengthening of the spiritual and cultural identity of Romanians everywhere.
The most significant points of this Cooperation Protocol include the following:
- Educational projects for Romanians everywhere;
- Protecting and revitalizing Romanian traditions and customs;
- Supporting cultural events at home and abroad for the benefit of all Romanians;
- Projects concerning the construction, restoration, preservation, and endowment of Romanian churches worldwide;
- Renovation and upkeep of museums, memorial houses, historical monuments, cemeteries, etc.;
- The construction, renovation, maintenance, and endowment of the libraries of Romanians everywhere;
- Supporting collaborative efforts to strengthen the educational, spiritual, and identity roles of Romanian Orthodox parishes and monasteries outside of Romania.;
- The parties will make joint efforts to support the initiatives promoted by the Department for Romanians Abroad, including making as many of the spaces used by Romanian parishes available as feasible, particularly in areas where there are no diplomatic missions of Romania;
- The parties will collaborate to conduct religious education courses within the Sunday School initiative to acquaint children with the Orthodox faith, the Romanian people’s connection to Christianity, and respect for religious liberty.
In this regard, the parties will work together to strengthen the identity role of Romanian Orthodox parishes and monasteries outside of Romania by implementing the following measures:
- Supporting their presence and actions in the states where there are Romanian Orthodox communities;
- Organizing traditional events on the occasion of church and national holidays, as well as cultural events, in the form of lectures, film viewings, exhibitions, etc.;
- Organizing several libraries with a collection of Romanian books, especially children’s literature, and school textbooks, depending on the available spaces.
Photography courtesy of Lumina Newspaper / Mihnea Păduraru
Source: Patriarchate of Romania