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Romanian Patriarchate, on baptism: Orthodox Church cannot change its doctrine, ritual and canonical discipline

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The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church decided on Thursday, in the context of concerns in the public space regarding the baptismal ritual, that the Church cannot change its doctrine, liturgical-sacramental ritual and canonical discipline, according to AGERPRES.

According to a press release of the Patriarchate, the Holy Synod brought to mind the statutory obligation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to remain in communion and dogmatic (doctrinal), liturgical (sacramental) and canonical (disciplinary) unity with the universal Orthodox Church.

"Therefore, the Romanian Orthodox Church cannot change its doctrine, its liturgical-sacramental ritual and its canonical discipline, urging all its ministers to be more responsible in performing the Holy Sacraments and special prayers," the cited source added.

In this context, "taking note of the discussions, concerns and misunderstandings that have appeared in the public space on the subject of the Baptism of children with poor health" the Holy Synod comes with a series of clarifications.

"Before the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, the priest has the obligation to meet with the parents and godparents of the child, who, after consulting with the pediatrician, will present to the priest the child's health and desire to be baptized; more attention will be paid within the Faculty of Theology in the Romanian Patriarchate to the liturgical practice regarding the act of the three-fold 'immersion' during the Baptismal service, compulsory liturgical practice for theological students in the final years of the sections of Pastoral Theology, in each archdiocese of the Romanian Patriarchate an annual consultation with the priests will be organized, regarding the correct performance of each Holy Sacrament. Catecheses will also be held with the faithful on the spiritual significance of the Holy Sacraments," reads the press release of the Patriarchate.

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