Vicente Torres (translated by Octavio Rivera)
December 2, 2018
Tens of thousands of worshippers attended the inauguration on Sunday of a giant new Orthodox cathedral in Bucharest, amid criticism that public funding for the project could be better used to pay for hospitals and schools in one of the EU’s poorest countries.
Construction of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral began in 2010 and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
Originally, the cost was estimated at about €80m (£71m), but it has already spiralled to €110m and tens of millions more are expected to be spent before it is completed.
Despite criticism about the costs, successive governments over the past decade have nevertheless put up the money in the hope of winning the support of the powerful Orthodox church in return.
About 88% of Romania’s population of 20 million are Orthodox.
How awful! Are Church and State not supposed to be separated?
Romania is in the middle of a church-building boom, with some 10 new places of worship completed every month, and one vast cathedral slowly taking shape. But some Romanians take issue with the expense, in one of Europe’s poorest countries – and particularly the use of funds from the public purse.
To travel across the north of Romania from Suceava in Moldavia to Maramures is to be bamboozled by exquisite religious eye candy.
Everywhere you look there are churches – big, small, medieval, brand new, tin-roofed, wooden, painted – each has its own appeal.
What is particularly striking as you bump along the potholed roads that link them, are their sheer numbers. Since the 1989 revolution the Orthodox Church has been going great guns in Romania.
That’s just… anti-Semitic.
But for the time being, the scene in Maramures on the Saints’ Day of Constantin and Elena is a reminder that the Orthodox religion in Romania remains a vital component of many people’s lives. Its pre-eminent position in society is undeniable.
This is how the vast cathedral will look:
I can’t deny it will be pretty.
It will be the world’s tallest Orthodox church, even taller than Russia’s.
Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow, finished in 1883 and 2000.
…and the second biggest area, just behind Russian’s.
San Isaac cathedral, Saint Petersburg, finished in 1858.
It will have the biggest orthodox iconostasis in the world.
…and the biggest bell in the world.
It’s true that God doesn’t need pompous buildings, nor costly sacrifices, and that he prefers a contrite and humble heart before Him (Psalm 51:16:17). Still, building the biggest and most expensive structures to glorify the purchasing power of some, or hedonistic entertainment instead of of our Creator, says a lot about the moral state of a nation.
Not long ago, our greatest and best structures were dedicated to God.
From these, the greatest and most beautiful are still ours, from the West.
However, during the last decades, this is what we’ve been building:
We changed the traditional altar…
…and this is what takes place inside those:
Hindu ceremony in the Sanctuary of Fatima, Portugal.
Wait. Isn’t that kind of a demon?
Ah, now I remember! The Second Vatican Council, announced by the first modern Anti-Pope John XXIII in 1958, dismantled 2000 years of dogma and tradition. Since then we’ve no longer had spiritual guidance.
Smoker John XXIII meeting with radical socialists.
On the other hand, Orthodox Christians retain tradition.
They retain appropriate dress etiquette.
Our churches get closed or auctioned to foreigners due to a lack of parishioners, but the Orthodox build thousands of churches per year with the help of the state, and they’re the traditional denomination with the biggest growth, maybe the only one that grows.
Could it be that the Orthodox still “carry the fire” —a spiritual fire that keeps in them the sense of nationhood, of manhood, of repulsion towards degeneracy— because they haven’t fully abandoned God?
Could that be why Putin and his strong and independent Russia have to be destroyed?
…or why the small but nationalist Yugoslavia had to be dismantled and destroyed?
It looks like communism covered the orthodox world with a protective veil that kept safe that which is most important, and that kept out that which is most destructive — the Jews.
If we were made by God, does it make sense for us to turn our backs on Him? Isn’t it time we reclaim our last great spiritual tradition that made our grandfathers great?