ROC Synod publishes a statement in connection with coronavirus

The meeting room of the ROC Holy Synod. Photo:

The Holy Synod reminded that in times of epidemics, the Russian Orthodox Church did not deny anyone spiritual care and full participation in its Sacraments.

On March 11, 2020, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted a statement in connection with the emergence of the coronavirus, reports the ROC’s official website.

The document says that "the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church is concerned about the spread of the coronavirus in the world and its consequences for millions of people, many of whom not only face the threat of infection but also experienced the socio-economic impact of this phenomenon.

The Synod emphasized that "blessed before the Lord are the works of doctors and volunteers who develop and implement medical and preventive measures to help the sick and prevent further spread of the disease.

Bishops recalled that "in times of epidemic, the Russian Orthodox Church has always carried out its testifying ministry, not denying anyone spiritual care and full participation in its Sacraments”.

At the same time, the Synodal members called for restraint, sobriety, and prayerful calm, and drew attention to the fact that "a believer should not succumb to panic and fear related to the spread of the unverified information about the infection”.

At the same time, the document stressed that "it is unacceptable to treat the coronavirus infection carelessly, neglect medical instructions, ignore preventive measures, putting yourself and others at risk of infection".

The Holy Synod considers it important to "consistently and rigorously observe sanitary and hygienic measures of preventive character in parishes and monasteries, especially in those regions where the epidemiological situation is officially recognized as difficult, including the wider use of sanitary solutions for disinfecting icon сases, which believers touch, the use of disposable glasses for drinking".

"In case of the spread of the coronavirus infection in a particular region, additional preventive measures may be applied in agreement with the Holy See," reads the statement.

The Holy Synod called on the archpastors, pastors, monks, and laymen of the Russian Orthodox Church to pray for increased efforts to overcome the disease and to give strength to doctors, fighting against it.


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