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Les aumôneries des hôpitaux

The introduction of chaplaincies into hospitals began in 1990, in a flexible way and based on informal agreements with the directors of several hospitals. The construction of chapels within hospital walls began on this fragile basis, and the presence of Orthodox priests in medical institutions was inconsistent.
In 1995, a cooperation agreement on the presence of priests in hospitals (but not in asylums and orphanages) was signed between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Ministry of Health. The document recognises the legitimacy of the Church’s presence in medical institutions. It confirms the need for priests to be present in these institutions on a permanent basis, establishing (in a way similar to military institutions and prisons) the principle of double subordination of hospital chaplains - to the Orthodox Church (on both canonical and disciplinary levels) and to the management of medical departments (on the administrative level). The Ministry of Health agreed to make available to the Church in these facilities, places to accommodate chapels or "spaces for the faiths", but not to build nor equip them with the necessary items for worship. Funding for the presence of chaplains in hospitals is not entirely clear : the Ministry of Health does not undertake to fully fund it. Successive negotiations during 1990 and 2000 have secured funding for the majority of hospital priests from a variety of sources (public funds from the Ministry of Health or the State Secretariat for Religious Affairs, but from also private Church funds). The agreement also provides, in the case of Orthodox priests, for their role as facilitators of religious assistance for patients belonging to other denominations.
Hospital chaplains are to be integrated later into the social welfare system that the Romanian Orthodox Church is implementing.

D 2 octobre 2012   

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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