Bucharest, December 7, 2021
On November 12, the Romanian Orthodox Church appealed to the Chamber of Deputies not to make the recently introduced EU Digital COVID certificate obligatory for attending the Divine services.
An EU Digital COVID Certificate is digital proof that a person has been vaccinated, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID. The relevant regulation entered into application on July 1, and will last for 12 months.
On Thursday, the Church made the same request at the meeting of representatives of religious denominations with the Romanian Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, reports the Basilica News Agency.
The Church believes COVID certificates shouldn’t be mandatory for church attendance because worship is vital for spiritual health:
“Just as this certificate is not required for citizens’ access to grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals because they meet the essential needs of citizens, so the physical participation of believers in services in places of worship meets a vital need for spiritual nourishment and health. Through the common prayer in the church, the faithful person enters into communion with God and their neighbours, healing their soul from the fear of sickness and death.
“Through common prayer in the church, the desperate person is encouraged, thus preventing despair and depression.
“Participating in divine services in the church gives the sorrowful and lonely person the joy of communication and solidarity, thus preventing the feeling of abandonment and marginalization.”
“At the same time, we specify that the Romanian Patriarchate permanently takes the necessary measures to observe the sanitary norms of protection when it organizes religious events,” the Chancellery of the Holy Synod’s statement concludes.