A Romanian priest from Paris, who is also an elite physicist, spoke in an interview with Press One about conspiracy, because, “when I see someone say something stupid, I can’t resist showing them that they’re wrong” but also for the fact that this hurts his congregation.
“Conspiracy self-justifies laziness and lack of initiative. This way of thinking is destructive. The more a community accepts conspiracy, the worse it gets,” Father Iosif Bena said.
Iosif Răzvan Bena (45 years old) is one of the top researchers at the Institut de Physique Theorique CEA – Saclay and a priest in Paris (Palaiseau) under the jurisdiction of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolis of Western and Southern Europe.
“It hurts many of our believers. They are invaded on Facebook, on Twitter with such theories, they start to believe them, and after that, they no longer protect themselves and end up in the hospital with problems.”
“I have a believer who has been in the hospital for five weeks in a coma, intubated. The cousin of another believer died recently after being intubated in Romania. Some simple people see something on the internet, give it credence, refuse to protect themselves, and refuse to wear a mask and then die.”
“As a priest, I can’t help but fight against this misinformation. Moreover, it is a duty, especially since I can figure out where the truth is and where the lie is.”
Conspiracies make us lazy and proud
The priest said that believing in various theories is reassuring, but on the other hand, false, and that’s a big problem, it’s the lazy approach. “If things don’t go well, you roll up your sleeves and get to work.”
“The lazy man will say, ‘Ah, doesn’t it work?’ It’s that fault or that or that. When you face a problem, the solution is not to say it’s Soros or Bill Gates. The solution is to ask: what can I do?”
On the other hand, the fact that some believe and spread such things can also be a sign of pride.
“When you imagine how those at Pfizer made the vaccine and find out that they introduced a lipid nanoparticle into the vaccine, you think you are a kind of illuminated person, a guiding beacon. Oh, all those who get vaccinated are stupid, I’ll tell you how things are.”
“There are still others who use all kinds of texts from the lives of the saints. Or certain prophecies in which it is said that something bad will happen. And they start and interpret and read these prophecies like Nostradamus. Look what the saint said, that this and that will come! Only me and the saint understand the world, we see the signs of the times, the rest, starting with the Bishops and the Patriarch, are fools who go blind with their masks and vaccines, with their pandemics and hospitals.”
“It is also pride. It is also a pleasant feeling to see yourself in the company of Saint Paisios. We are with us, the rest with the crowd. It’s delightful, you like it when it’s like that, but we have to learn that it’s not fair,” Fr. Iosif Bena cautioned.
Christians take responsibility
Father Iosif quoted the prayers in time of contagious diseases and said that “the text is obvious, crystalline, it does not say that Soros or Bill Gates was wrong and it does not say: alas, poor us, we are so good and look what it happened!”
“No, all the texts say clearly: we are guilty, we have done wrong, and because of our sins this has happened. Christians take responsibility; it happened because of our sins. When you understand that, you behave differently. If you blame others, then you are the good one. You don’t have to confess anymore; you don’t have to fight with yourself, you don’t have to get better. You are perfect as you are. You’re perfect, and Bill Gates is to blame.”
“Conspiracy is a pseudo-religion. We no longer see things coming from God.”
In the interview, Father Iosif talked about the relationship between science and religion, about the vaccine, wearing a mask at work, and about how his parish went through a pandemic.