This conference, suggestively entitled: Pastoral care without borders (Migration, social change, educational deficiencies, global pandemic), held on October 29, 2020, is occasioned by the fact that 2021 was declared by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church as “The Homage Year of the pastoral care of the Romanians from outside Romania”. The decision of the Holy Synod is all the more natural, as the OSCE has stated that the Romanian diaspora is one of the most numerous, currently occupying the fifth place at the international level.
Romanians, wherever they may be, are an integral part of the country's social body and members of the Orthodox Church, and the state together with the Romanian Orthodox Church are invited to respond equally to the needs, interests and concerns of those at home and abroad. According to estimates, between 3.5 and 4 million Romanians have settled abroad. Of these, more than 2.8 million live in another EU member state.
At least three main waves of emigration can be distinguished: a first such wave left the Romanian territories at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, heading, especially, towards North America, a second one represented the political exile during the dictatorship. and the third one, after 1989, initially formed by young professionals and later by other Romanians, motivated by economic or career opportunities and who arrived mainly in Europe.
The Romanian Patriarchate and the Ministry for Romanians Abroad signed on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, a new collaboration protocol. The collaboration protocol envisages a series of projects, programs and actions that aim to support the Romanian communities abroad in order to preserve their ethnic, cultural and religious identity.
Thus, the joint efforts for the benefit of Romanian communities everywhere are regulated through the construction, repair, conservation and endowment of churches, libraries and museums, through the renovation and maintenance of memorial houses, historical monuments and cemeteries.
The preservation, protection and revitalization of Romanian traditions and customs will be supported by organizing in the country and abroad cultural events for Romanians everywhere, through educational projects, as well as by strengthening the educational, spiritual and identity role of Romanian Orthodox parishes and monasteries abroad.
The conference, which addresses a valuable and generous topic through its content, betrays the interest of participants, professors and researchers in the field of theology and humanities, for the issue raised by the ways in which the spiritual and social life of Romanians abroad is managed.
Researchers are trying, according to their own skills, to provide keys of interpretation and solutions to the challenges faced by Romanian migrants in a global society, hit today by the health crisis triggered by the covid pandemic19.
Assist. Ph.D. Protos. Maxim Vlad