Patriarch Daniel celebrates 15 years since his enthronement as head of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Daniel celebrates 15 years since his enthronement. Credit:

The head of Romania’s dominant Orthodox Church, Patriarch Daniel, on Friday celebrated 15 years since his enthronement.

The 71-year-old patriarch was elected by the Holy Synod and began the role on Sept. 30, 2007 after the death of the previous patriarch Teoctist.

Orthodox believers

More than 85 percent of Romanians are Orthodox believers and the church enjoys more influence in society than in West European countries, although its sway has lessened in recent years as Romania has become more secular.

In a service to mark the anniversary at the National Cathedral on Friday, Patriarch Daniel spoke about his immediate concerns: Romania’s diaspora, which is an estimated 5 million, and the low birth rate.

“We always look at the past only to thank God and the people through whom God worked. But when we look at the present and the future, the needs and works of the Church, we see how much more there is to do. That is, many activities are in progress, but new ones are also needed,” he said.

The Orthodox Times, which covers news from the Orthodox world, listed his main achievements on Friday to mark the anniversary.

Among his accomplishments, Daniel set up the Basilica Media Center, which has five departments: Radio Trinitas, Trinitas TV, the Lumina publications, the Basilica News Agency, and the Press and Public Relations Office, it said.

He also created a tourism and pilgrimage agency the Basilica Travel Agency for believers to visit monasteries and other Orthodox sites. Priests run trips for the faithful, who don’t have to be Orthodox.

Holy martyrs

He canonized Athanasius Todoran of Bichigiu, Basil of Mocod, Gregory of Zagra, and Basil of Telciu. They were declared Holy Martyrs and Confessors of Năsăud in May 2008 and another 30 saints after that.

In 2025,  there will be further canonizations, most of  priests being considered for sainthood were victims of communist regime persecution, it noted.

The Romanian Patriarchate was awarded the Patriarchal Palace by the state which was then converted into a conference center.

Historical monument

The historical monument had extensive consolidation and restoration works,  funded by the European Union, the government, and the Romanian Patriarchate. Guided tours of the palace are available to the general public.

Patriarch Daniel fulfilled “a mandate from his ancestors” by building the National Cathedral to mark 100 years since Romania’s Great Union of 1918, which created the state of Greater Romania.

The Cathedral was consecrated by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel in Nov. 2018.

National Cathedral

Although the National Cathedral remains a symbol of Patriarch Daniel’s leadership, even greater efforts were made to assist those in need.

The Romanian Orthodox Church has invested large sums of money in social and philanthropic work in the last 15 years, with 44 million euros spent on philanthropy in 2021 alone.

Thousands of Romanians benefited from the creation of hundreds of social institutions and programs established together with local authorities.

Patriarch Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Romania in 2010 and 2018, Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria in 2011, Patriarch John of Antioch in 2016, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem in 2011 and 2018, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, and Metropolitan Rastislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia in 2017.

Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to Romania’s National Cathedral on May 31, 2019 was another significant moment. Pope Francis praised Daniel as “a great patriarch”.

In 2007, Patriarch Daniel founded three new dioceses: the Diocese of Northern Europe, the Diocese of Spain and Portugal, and the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.


Parishes have recently been established in Japan, Syria, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai).

The election of Bishop Antonie of Bălți and Bishop Veniamin of Southern Bessarabia to the previously vacant sees within the Metropolis of Bessarabia in 2018 was a significant move.

The church has moved to protect Christian values from modern ideologies that contradict Christian morals in recent years.

Natural family

Daniel frequently is vocal in his support for the natural family and frequently gives guidance to parents and young people in his sermons.

The Church supports disadvantaged families through a variety of social and educational programs.

The Romanian Orthodox Church provided assistance during the pandemic.

People arriving from Italy were quarantined in facilities provided by Romanian monks in March 2020. Numerous church-sponsored fundraising events were held to support the isolated and purchase medical equipment.


Prayer was offered along with material assistance to foster community from a distance through the help of technology.

A number of clergy died after catching the virus, the most prominent being the Archbishop Pimen of Suceava and Rădăuți. Some clergy, such as the Teodosie, the Bishop of Tomis, deniedor downplayed  the existence of Covid-19 and flouted pandemic restrictions.

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