THE PRIME MINISTER OF ROMANIA VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE
On Thursday afternoon, 21st April/4th May 2017, the Prime Minister of Romania Mr. Sorin Grindeanu visited the Church of the Resurrection, escorted by the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Romania, under the former Ambassador of Romania in Israel Mrs. Andreea Păstârnac, the Archimandrite delegates of the Romanian Church in Jerusalem Fr. Theophilos and Fr. Ioannis, and by staff members of the Romanian Embassy in Israel. They were received by the Patriarchal Commissioner Most Reverend Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias and the Assistant Sacristan Archimandrite Polykarpos, Fr. Nikolaos and other Templar Fathers. The Prime Minister venerated the Horrendous Golgotha, the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord and the Sacred Wood at the Reliquary of the Church.
Consequently Mr. Grindeanu visited the Patriarchate where he was warmly received by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos with Hagiotaphite Fathers, among whom were the Patriarchal Commissioner Most Reverend Metropolitan Isychios of Kapitolias, Geronda Secretary-General Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Dragouman Archimandrite Mattheos and the Master of Ceremonies Archimandrite Bartholomew.
Therein, speaking to the Prime Minister, His Beatitude referred to the mission of the Patriarchate in the Holy Land both in the past and at present, and to the relationship between the Jerusalem Patriarchate and the Romanian Patriarchate, especially during the Patriarchal service of the memorable Patriarch Dositheos, who developed a pastoral activity in Iasion where he also founded a printing shop. His Beatitude also referred to the project that was recently completed by the Patriarchate, the restoration of the Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre.
In his reply, the Prime Minster said that he was astonished and touched by what he had heard and seen in the Church of the Resurrection and had a difficulty in finding the right words to express the feelings that were created in his soul.
Appreciating the Romanian Prime Minister’s attitude, His Beatitude offered him the medal of the Grand Commander of the Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, in recognition of his own support as well as that of his country to the Christian authorities within the European Union, where Romania also belongs. His Beatitude offered the Prime Minister an icon of the Theotokos, in order to help him in his mission in favour of his country and asked him to convey His brotherly wishes to the Patriarch Daniel of Romania.
Deeply touched, the Prime Minister thanked His Beatitude and committed himself to continue projecting the Christian values in the European Union. Moreover, the Prime Minister asked His Beatitude’s prayers for the success of his visit in the state of Israel.