‘Rebellious’ Romanian Archbishop who opposed Covid-19 restrictions encourages followers to get vaccine

Foto: INQUAM/Costin Dincă

A Romanian Orthodox Archbishop who has regularly flouted coronavirus restrictions by holding services amid restrictions, is encouraging followers to get vaccinated against the virus

Teodosie, Archbishop of the Black Sea Constanta region, says he supports Patriarch Daniel who has sent clerics brochures about the vaccine which is currently being rolled out in Romania.

Teodosie has gained the reputation of something of a rebel even within the church in recent months by holding services, often in defiance of Covid-19 restrictions.

His last run-in with authorities was an Epiphany service on Jan. 6 attended by thousands of Orthodox faithful.

As part of the traditions, young men dived into the Black Sea to retrieve a cross, something that the Archbishop of Tomis, Teodosie, called a “natural and healthy vaccine” against the virus.

Police announced they were investigating Teodosie for breaking coronavirus restrictions after the service. The week before he had another run-in with police when he officiated a two-hour New Year’s Eve service attended by 100 Orthodox worshipers in violation of current restrictions. Police refrained from handing out fines.

In an apparent about-face, however, Teodosie, 65, said Monday that he hadn’t been properly informed about the coronavirus.

„I have positive thoughts,“ he said. “I have gained knowledge I didn’t have from someone who studied it for a long time. I wasn’t properly informed.”

He denied changing his opinion about the vaccine. „I didn’t have opinions. I had solid, scientific knowledge,” he said.

He declined to say whether he would be inoculated.

At a service on Monday, he said that the love and understanding of God “leads us to more wisdom.”

Romania reported less than 2,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, after only 7,000 tests were carried out in the past 24 hours. Some 28.4% of people tested came out positive. Constanta reported 129 new cases in the past day.


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