THE PASTORAL ACTIVITY OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN THE ROMANIANS COUNTRIES, MANIFESTED IN THE CARE FOR THE SICK PEOPLE. HISTORICAL-NOMOCANONICAL AND SOCIAL-PHILANTHROPIC PERSPECTIVE
The Church received from Christ the mission not only to preach the gospel of salvation, but also to feed the hungry, to give water to the thirsty, to provide a traveler’s shelter and hospitality to the stranger, to dress the naked, take care of the sick and care for orphans and widows. The Orthodox Church fulfilled its social mission and sought to ease the lives of the less favored, by setting up hospitals, philanthropic homes, homes for the elderly, orphanages and other charitable institutions.
In the Byzantine Empire, the Church benefited from State support in this pastoral ministry aimed at the construction of hospitals (nozocomies), hospital beds and hospital settings. State assistance was not limited to financial contributions. It generated in partnership with the Church a nomocanonic legislative framework that would ensure the good functioning of these philanthropic institutions. The Romanian Countries, as genuine Byzantium after Byzantium, were followers of the same spirit, adopting the Orthodox-Byzantine model, in the care shown to those in distress. Certainly the Orthodox Church, in the territories inhabited by the Romanians, until the political and administrative organization of the Romanian States, founded hospital settlements near the episcopal centers and monasteries. In the official documents of Wallachia, the term sickness, which defined the place where the sick were treated, appeared for the first time in the sixteenth century, in the document by which Vladislav Voievod gave in 1523 to the Simidrenni sickness half of the income of a dairies.
Keywords: Romanian Orthodox Church, hospitals, nomocanonic, social-philanthropic, pastoral care.
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