While doctors and authorities urged citizens to adhere to protective measures during the COVID-19 epidemic strictly, some church representatives came up with public messages promoting various conspiracy theories, thereby questioning the new coronavirus’s dangers. ZdG tried to find out how the priests’ displayed messages changed during the last few months, after the clergy reported more than 20 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, and at least three of them lost their lives.
Bishop Marchel of Bălți and Fălești (Northern Moldova) is one of those who promoted conspiracy theories related to COVID-19. Later admitting that he was COVID-19 positive and told reporters that “people must understand how dangerous this virus is and they should follow the doctors’ recommendations.”
“Don’t accept the vaccine. The Satanist globalists’ goal was to invent the coronavirus, attributing to it many more terrible characteristics than the virus has. Protect Christians from the vaccine. It is the trap that deprives us of freedom as a holy gift, received from God. The vaccinated man voluntarily accepts in his body the tracking mechanism,” said Bishop Marchel in a video clip published by Balti Eparchy on May 16, 2020.
One month after the recording of this video message, Bishop Marchel fell ill with COVID-19. Although he initially refused to confirm it, he later admitted that he was infected and told reporters that “people must understand how dangerous this virus is, and they should follow the doctors’ recommendations strictly.”
“We’ll end up with microchips. There are all signs of it.”
Ioan Zimbranu, another pastor from the North of Moldova, spread conspiracy theories before getting infected with COVID-19. Until he tested positive, the priest distributed on his Facebook page articles and videos promoting messages against 5G antennas and the vaccine, as well as opinions about “microchipping” the population or about the fact that the statistics related to COVID-19 would be false.
On July 29, in a message posted on Facebook, the priest announced that he was cured of COVID-19 and thanked the doctors “from the bottom of my heart for the care and help they gave me.”
The priest told in an interview with ZdG: “Initially, I couldn’t believe that such a disease existed. I thought it was a simple flu. On Facebook, I thanked the doctors and everyone for the very caring attitude towards me, and I would ask everyone to take care of themselves because the disease is real. However, he believes that “microchipping” will be used one day and that 5G antennas are dangerous to society and believers.
“When this disease is knocking on your door, you become convinced that it exists.”
Vitalie Bârlădeanu, a pastor in the Bălți district, was also skeptical about COVID-19 until he got infected and was hospitalized in the resuscitation department, connected to the assisted breathing apparatus.
“ You think it’s not going to affect you, but when the disease is knocking on your door, you become convinced that it exists. And I want to tell people to be careful and to protect themselves.”
When he noticed that he had a fever, the priest says that he thought it was a simple cold, not COVID-19. However, hard days of hospitalization and the fight against the new coronavirus followed.
The Metropolitan Church of Moldova on “microchipping” through the vaccine against COVID-19, “the international criminal Bill Gates,” and 5G technologies.
In May, when the pandemic was in full swing, and before several church representatives contracted the virus, the Metropolitan Church of Moldova addressed to the country’s leadership regarding the “danger of microchipping” through the COVID-19 vaccine. We tried to find out if the Metropolitanate maintains its point of view expressed in May. Still, His Eminence Ioan, Bishop of Soroca, who was delegated to talk to us, avoided answering ZdG questions directly.