Thursday, August 30, 2007

Funeral ceremony of Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist gathers tens of thousands

After a first ceremony at 7:00 AM, the commemoration session of the Sacred Synod has begun at 9:00, with sister-Orthodox Church Patriarchs, including Bartholomew I of the Constantinople, and Romanian officials holding homage speeches.

Patriarch Teoctist will be buried in the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest, near his predecessors. In his honor, the Government declared August 3 as national mourning day. Tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered in Bucharest downtown, near the cathedral.

The funerals received a wide coverage in the international media. While International Herald Tribune writes about Bartholomew I, The Independent chooses to comment that Teoctist was an enthusiastic supporter of Ceausescu’s regime.

The New York Times reminds that Teoctist was the first Romanian Patriarch to meet Pope John Paul II, in an unprecedented take to the Catholic Church. „The visit by John Paul II was the first by a pope to an Orthodox Christian country, and the pope’s first small step toward achieving his dream of full reconciliation between East and West.

Romania’s population is 87 percent Orthodox Christian”, NY Times reads., Aug 3, 2007


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