Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A top Romanian medic has been fined after he took his entire medical team outside in order to worship and pray alongside a religious icon as it was carried past by local church leaders.
The incident occurred in Targovishte city in south-central Romanian Dambovitsa County, where the doctor was fined 20,000 RON (3,600 GBP) for going out in the street to worship a holy icon, together with a team of other medical professionals.
The doctor, identified as Claudiu Dumitrescu, 45, is the head of the Targovishte County Emergency Hospital.
Official said that he was punished after leading his entire medical team outside to pay their respects and pray in front of the icon of Saint Nephon, a popular Orthodox Christian saint, who died in the Monastery of Dionysiou on Mount Athos in Greece in 1508.
It is unclear what relic was but his body is reportedly kept in a shrine in the Monastery of Dionysiou, where there is a chapel in his name.
According to the reports, many of the people who stood outside had their face masks on, but police decided to investigate anyway after seeing the pictures shared on social media in which it was clear social distancing was not being respected.
The press service of the local investigative committee reported: “Following the gathering in the public space of the Targovishte County Emergency Hospital, Dambovitsa Police filed a complaint and sanctioned the manager of the medical institution with a fine of 20,000 RON (3,600 GBP) for non-application of the measures of anti-epidemic prevention, and putting a risk of spreading infections.”
The local archdiocese has not made any comment on the case, even though they had instituted the parade involving the relics of the saint in order ‘to end the coronavirus pandemic’.
It was not revealed if anyone else was punished for taking part in the gathering.
According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, Romania has reported 7,707 cases of COVID-19 and 392 deaths.
The Saint was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople three times from 1486 to 1488, from 1497 to 1498 and for a short time in 1502.
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