The President of Filantropia spoke in the European Parliament on the Church's humanitarian aid
The European Parliament organized in Brussels on July 12, 2022, the seminar “The humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine”. The event was hosted by Mr Othmar Karas, First Vice-President, in the framework of the dialogue with Churches, Religious Associations or Communities stipulated by Article 17 of the TFEU. Also participating on behalf of the European Institutions: Mr Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Witold Jan Waszczykowski, Vice-President of the Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mrs Michaela del Monte, Head of the EP Citizens’ Policy Unit, MEPs and experts. Ms Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, also delivered a recorded video message.
Five representatives from churches and religious communities participated and shared how their communities have mobilized to respond to the most unprecedented war crisis in Europe over the last 70 years. The presentations and the discussions clearly highlighted the great importance of this aid offered by the Churches, the exemplary way in which they have mobilized and the huge effort that the Churches in particular in the European countries bordering Ukraine have made to alleviate the suffering of the victims of the war.
The specific nature of religious communities, which are extremely close to the people, means that they have had a quick and realistic understanding of the needs of those affected by the war, and have also been able to adapt more easily to the unexpected changes that have occurred, especially in the first weeks after the outbreak of the conflict. At the same time, it was argued for a more structured response and substantial support from the EU at a time when the crisis is expected to be long-lasting.
The Committee of Representatives of Orthodox Churches to the EU (CROCEU) was represented at the meeting by Fr. Ciprian Ioniță, Patriarchal Counsellor and President of the Filantropia Federation, which brings together 24 NGOs from the Romanian Orthodox Church. He spoke about the challenges faced by our country since the beginning of the crisis and presented the social-philanthropic work carried out by the Church in response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war. Fr. Sorin Șelaru was present at the event on behalf of the Representative Office of the Romanian Patriarchate in Brussels.