The Government has subsidized the acquisition by the Romanian Orthodox Church of a parish center in the Swiss capital by nearly EUR 430,000 (CHF 470,000). The information was made public by the Association Rezist Zurich, who is revolted and has asked the Parish in Bern to give the money back and ask for the sum to be invested in the country in schools or hospitals.
“The Parish of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Bern has bought this year an impressive building in the capital of Switzerland – an architectural ensemble with several halls, a kitchen and an apartment. The Heligkreuz Parish Center was bought from the Bern Catholic community, which, according to public statements, could not afford the extraordinary annual costs necessary to maintain the architectural monument. Thus, the Catholics gave up their center in exchange for the amount of CHF 900,000” the Association Rezist Zurich says in a release sent to ziare.com.
They say the new parish is the 13th in Switzerland.
“Although invitations were sent to all believers from the other 12 parishes on the territory of Switzerland, the number of Romanian believers who participated in the sanctification of the so-called ‘center of all the Romanians in Switzerland’ (which took place on April 21, 2018) was of about 100 people,” the press release reads.
The parish priest confirms the payment made by the Gov’t
The Association Rezist Zurich also refers to the statements of parish priest Laurentiu Precup, who announced that out of the CHF 900,000, the amount of CHF 400,000 was donated, and for the remaining CHF 500,000 he contracted a 10-year loan from a Swiss bank. Most of this loan, however, was covered in just a few months as the Romanian Government paid CHF 470,000, so now the parish priest has called on the faithful to cover the last CHF 30,000 tranche left over from the loan.
“By the generosity and desire of the Romanians in Switzerland, the sum of CHF 400,000 was collected. The Romanian Government has subsidized our project with the sum of EUR 427,500 (CHF 470,000),” the priest said.
Association Rezist Zurich requests for the amount to be returned to the Gov’t
The Association Rezist Zurich requests that the amount is returned to the Government, so that the money is invested in Romania, ziare.com further informs.
“How are we to explain to the government of the country of adoption that, while the Swiss tax payers support projects to modernize schools and hospitals in Romania, the Romanian Government has sent almost half a million Swiss Francs to the Romanians in Switzerland for a ‘cultural centre’ or a parish?” the association asks.
The association thus calls on the Patriarchy of the Romanian Orthodox Church and on the Romanian Government for total transparency on donations and real estate acquisitions made by BOR in Switzerland during the past 15 years.
Patriarchy: There is absolutely no questionable issue
The BOR Patriarchy claims the subsidy in this case is absolutely natural and that in turn the Church supports the state in various fields.
“There’s absolutely no questionable issue in this case. Any democratic state supports the citizens in the country and abroad, the Diaspora, including in terms of spirit, not only economically, due to its obligation to the religious cults, which in turn support the state in various fields: charity, culturally, socially. Only the ones ignoring, willingly or not, the nature and the democratic principles of the reciprocal relationship state-cults could criticize the state’s involvement in supporting its own citizens, who have stated their religious affiliation in a 99% share,” BOR Spokesman, Vasile Banescu, has told ziare.com.
Photo: Romanian Orthodox Parish in Bern – the Great Martyr Saint George