Policemen to help priests share the holy light to people’s houses on Easter night. The action, harshly criticised

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Interior minister Marcel Vela has announced on Tuesday night that policemen will help priests distribute the holy light to believers on Easter night following an agreement between the Interior Ministry and the Romanian Patriarchy.
The communion wafers will be distributed to believers on Friday and Saturday during 07:00hrs and 17:00hrs in all parishes. Congregants are allowed to the church in their resident district to take the communion wafers and they must write in the affidavits the church in their neighbourhood.
The holy light brought from Jerusalem will be distributed by the volunteering priests, accompanied by the policemen to the people’s houses on Saturday night, starting 20:00hrs.
Believers will be able to get out of the house/apartment to take the holy light observing the restriction of keeping the distance and of not gathering in groups larger than 3 people. The recommendation is that 2 or 3 residents in a block of flats to take the light and then distribute it to all neighbours.

The agreement between the Police and the Patriarchy has been though slammed, with many saying the action will enable the potential spread of the coronavirus, as crowds could not be avoided.
Vlad Mixich, expert on health policies and the president of the Romanian Health Observatory, a NGO that is running an information campaign on the Coronavirus pandemic, next to the Health Ministry, has warned that, if the distribution of the holy light on Easter night “is ike at the market, we have practically stayed indoors for 3 weeks for nothing”. “It there is order and discipline during the distribution of the Easter symbols, then it’s OK“, he said.

Manager of Victor Babes Hospital in Bucharest, Simin Aysel Florescu said that the measure will increase the risk of infection. “The risk of infection will be increased. People will inevitably go out in droves, we’ll see how it will be”, the hospital manager said.

“A more more confined Easter would have been more welcome. If there is no other way, the hospitals will be crowded”, she added.

 

On the other hand, Interior minister Vela claimed that president Klaus Iohannis and PM Ludovic Orban had been informed about this agreement and that the action is precisely aiming at avoiding “crowds on the Resurrection night”.

Minister Vela also argued that he had information that PSD mayors would incite people to go to church in large numbers on the Resurrection night, so the government decided to come up with this measures, upon the Church’s proposal.

The minister claimed the measure will not lead to a spread of the coronavirus, after the Health minister himself told Digi24 that he would have opted for the self-isolation measures at home.

Yet, sources from the Presidency revealed that President Klaus Iohannis is disavowing the agreement between the Police and the Romanian Orthodox Church. The head of state is to deliver a press statement at 12:00hrs.

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