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Patriarch of Romania: “True faith and prayer maintain church unity”

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said on Sunday, at the end of the consecration service of the Zlătari Church in Bucharest, that “true faith and prayer maintain the unity of the Church; Jesus not only spoke about the unity of the Church but also prayed for it.”

His Beatitude highlighted that “the unity of the Church cannot be maintained only through the teaching of faith but also through prayer for unity, because due to sin, the Church is constantly in danger of schism or division.”

“Sin itself is division, the breaking of communion between man and God.”

Communion of Eternal Love

The First Ecumenical Council had the same purpose: to clarify the deviations caused by Arius’s heresy, according to which the Son and the Holy Spirit were created beings of God and, therefore, the only true God was God the Father.

“This thinking is very simplistic: If God is one, He must be alone, thus being an eternal loneliness,” explained the Patriarch of Romania.

On the other hand, “the Christian faith shows that the One God is not alone, not an eternal loneliness, but a communion of eternal love. God the Father is the Father of an eternal Son, whom the Jews had not heard of.”

Attaining Eternal Life and the Union of Man with God

“That is why the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council emphasized that Jesus Christ is Light from Light, true God from true God, consubstantial with the Father, meaning He is God.”

Otherwise, continued Patriarch Daniel, “Salvation would make no sense; it could not be achieved because the union to attain eternal life is the union of man with the eternally living God. If Jesus Christ is a being that appeared in time and is not eternal God like the Father, then salvation is lost.”

“The fathers at Nicaea showed the connection between the confession of Christ’s divinity and the possibility of salvation. If He is not true God, He cannot save us, cannot deify us, cannot give us eternal life because He does not have this eternal life within Himself from eternity.”

Speaking about the nature and influences of Arius’s heresy, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel noted that it was significantly influenced by Greek philosophy, which considered the divine being to be one and indivisible, whereby God was one as an eternal loneliness and “of a mathematical type.”

In contrast, “The mystery of the Holy Trinity is precisely this, that the Triune God of Christians is God of love; an eternally lonely God cannot love Himself eternally except in a selfish form,” continued His Beatitude.

“This is the mystery of the Church because it is not a simple human organization, but it is the life of Christ from the Holy Trinity extended into humanity. That is why we are baptized in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and we praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and we await that at the Universal Resurrection, we will enter into the joy, peace, and love of the Kingdom of the Most Holy Trinity,” added Patriarch Daniel.

Photography courtesy of Lumina Newspaper / Mihnea Păduraru