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President Iohannis: I still believe Gov't, Romanian Orthodox Church need to deepen their dialogue

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Klaus Iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis told a press conference at the Cotroceni Palace today that the government and the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) need to deepen their dialogue.

"I still believe that the dialogue between the parties must be deepened and I believe that a cooperation can be reached, which is ultimately in the interest of Romanians, regardless of the religion they practice," Iohannis said when asked about the recent statements of Patriarch Daniel, who compared the restrictions imposed on the Saint Demetrios pilgrimage with what happened in the final months of communism in Romania.

Patriarch Daniel delivered on Tuesday a sermon to the several hundred faithful attending the Holy Mass on the feast day of Saint Pious Demetrios the New, the Protector of Bucharest.

The Patriarch recounted an incident in the autumn of 1989, at the Feast of St. Pious Demetrios the New, on October 27, when "the communist authorities forbade the worship of the holy relics of the saint on ground that an important meeting was taking place on the same day in the building next to the Patriarchate Palace, where the headquarters of the Grand National Assembly was located."

"And thus, the remembrance-worthy Patriarch Teoctist was forced to transfer the coffin from the Metropolitan Hill, from the Cathedral. Yet he didn't take it too far, but to the Church of St. Nicholas - Vladica, which is down here, nearby. The 'reward' for this humiliation of the Saint Pious Demetrios the New came just a few months later, when the communist regime collapsed," said the Father Patriarch.

On October 13, President Iohannis said that a direct dialogue between the government and the Romanian Orthodox Church would lead to better solutions.

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