I was baptized as orthodox but I don’t believe in God. At least not in the Christian God. But my religious beliefs are not important in this case. This is about facts and civic values.
The consecration of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral took place on November 24. Tens of thousands of people came from all around the country to participate. The cathedral is 120-meter high, making it the tallest Orthodox cathedral in the world. The construction, which began in 2010, is still in progress and so far the costs reached 110 million euros. 75% of this amount was paid by public funds.
This event marked 100 years since modern-day Romania was created. What happened there is beyond words. I watched the documentary from Recorder – “People’s Humiliation Cathedral” (see below, even if you don’t understand Romanian language, the images make it all clear ). I experienced a very unpleasant trip among feelings of anger, contempt, loathing, sadness and concern.
Anger🤬 Because that’s the first reaction you have when you live in Romania and you’ve been at least once in a public hospital, traveled within the country (by car/train) or had an interaction with a public servant or institution. The government supports the church with public funds and no income taxes. This huge amount of money could have been invested in infrastructure, education and health.
Contempt😖 When I see all that opulence: shiny golden outfits, accommodation at a 5* hotel (across the street from the church) and going 50 m in expensive cars to get from the hotel to the cathedral. This is the exact opposite of what Christianity is preaching: Jesus was born in a manger, part of a lower-class working family. He lived as a poor man, and died as a poor man. The greed for majestic churches contradicts what Jesus said: “Split wood, I am there. Lift up a rock, you will find me there”.
Loathing🤢 So much falseness. It was a political spectacle that humiliated the audience. So many people came, some from hundreds of km, to attend the religious service. But they were kept behind the fences.
Sadness😢 Because tens of thousands of Romanians are blind to what happens around them and with their money. That they are incapable of separating their belief in God from the Church and what it has become today. There are so many people who don’t understand the needs of this country, where it is heading and where it should be.
We have a prime-minister (functionally illiterate) who believes that The People’s Salvation Cathedral represents “the fulfillment” of Romanians and Romania as a country. People rely only on what they see on TV or on Facebook and do not try to search and understand more. Those who do it are few. It is obvious that education is the answer. The lack of it brought us in this situation and investing in can get us out. Still, nobody seems to do anything about it.
Concern😰 Because the future does not seem to be more optimistic. The target voters of the ruling party are mostly formed by elders and church supporters. Priests are trying more and more to impose their voting opinions on their parishioners.
Many politicians, including the ruling party leader, have criminal files and they are trying to mutilate the justice laws in their own interest. The opposition does not have a real voice and is acting childish. The media is not reliable. They pretty much copy the information one from another, without verifying it. They don’t present facts but personal conclusions and opinions on that topic. People are not encouraged to think for themselves. Though I must congratulate Recorder team for doing an admirable job and presenting the reality.
Not even those that understand the problems of this country (#rezist movement) don’t realize that protesting on the streets is not enough. We are doing it for almost 2 years and we haven’t accomplished anything. It seems that people are measuring the success of the movement in the number of media reactions.
What if we all refuse to pay taxes or go to work? Could be a way of protesting with a bigger impact. But it takes guts. It involves more risks than just getting a cold by staying on the street holding a board with creative messages and waiting for salvation. Unfortunately, The European Union will not save us, as many believe. We are the only ones that can change something.
However, it may be a glimpse of hope. Maybe those who were there, at the consecration and felt humiliated, as well as those who saw these images, will reconsider their attitude and start changing things.
At least we still got our sense of humor. Like always, we manage to make fun of the lousy situations we get ourselves into.