Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Meeting of Arab Orthodox Living in Romania

Romanian original here.

Meeting of Arab Orthodox of Romania

Around the great feasts, the community of Arab Orthodox Christians in Romania meets at the Patriarchal Palace. On the occasion of Holy Pascha, representatives of the community were received in the “Christian Europe” hall by patriarchal vicar, His Grace Ciprian Câmpineanul, reports Trinitas TV.

“Every year, with the blessing of Patriarch Daniel, there is a meeting at the patriarchal palace on the occasion of Easter between the bishop of the place or the bishop’s delegate and the community of Arab believers who are also to some degree pastored by an archimandrite, Father Qays, sent by Patriarch Ignatius of Antioch. On Thomas Sunday, with the blessing of Patriarch Daniel, I met with them at the patriarchal palace and gave them a message from the patriarch and from myself. Then we began to discuss various problems. It is something extraordinary, since they try to be together as much in the church as outside of it, which contributes to their maintaining both their national identity and the identity of their faith,” said His Grace Ciprian Câmpineanu.

Recently, the Arab Orthodox community in Bucharest has grown, which has led to the allocation of a designated space for their liturgical activities.

“We should mention that in Bucharest there are very many Christians of different confessions, including Arab Orthodox Christians from many countries, from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, or from Palestine. They have become established in Bucharest for a long time on account of their work or because they have married Romanian Orthodox, they have children whom they educate in the spirit of Christian faith. They study in Romanian schools and participate in services on Sundays and feast days for the most part at the church of St. Dumitru-Poştă, though also in other churches. However, on the two greatest feats, the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Resurrection of the Savior, Archimandrite Qays comes specially to perform the services in Arabic, to hear their confessions, and to listen to their problems,” His Grace said.

The Patriarchate of Antioch has delegated an archimandrite who comes to Romania on various occasions and officiates services for the Arab Orthodox.

“They are very happy when they hear the service in their native language, as in the Romanian proverb ‘blood doesn’t become water’ and it is very important for them to be able to pray the liturgy also in their own language. This has been possible through the blessing of the .Patriarch of Romania, who has allowed them to meet at the church of St. Dumitru- Poştă,” pointed out Bishop Ciprian Câmpineanul

“It is something normal for the flock to meet with shepherds and it is a space for meeting and communication with the Church’s hierarchy, that is, between the flock and the shepherds in order to discuss all the challenges that the Arab Orthodox community of Romania faces,” said Archimandrite Qays Sadiq.

The reunion at the Patriarchal palace has become a tradition that seeks to strengthen relations between Arab Orthodox believers.

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