Moldova Mulls Returning Properties to Romanian-Linked Church

Moldova will hand over the building of the former Theological Seminary in Chisinau to the Metropolis of Bessarabia, which is linked to the Romanian Orthodox Church, if a draft law registered by several deputies of the ruling Action and Solidarity Party, PAS, is adopted.

The supporting note of the draft law, submitted on Thursday, is that the assets of the Metropolis of Bessarabia were wrongly confiscated and nationalised by the Soviet regime after World War II, when Moldova became part of the USSR, so the transfer back of the property would "restore in the smallest possible way a measure of historical equity."

The draft law has been also signed by the Moldovan parliament's speaker, Igor Grosu, who on February 9 met the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Daniel, in Bucharest.

During the meeting, the Romanian Patriarch said Moldova should return the former Orthodox Theology Faculty and former Theological Seminary in Chisinau to the Metropolis of Bessarabia.

However, current Moldovan legislation only allows the retrocession or compensation of nationalised assets for persons who were subject to political repressions, not legal entities.

The Catholic Church and Jewish community have also requested the return of properties confiscated by the Soviets but have obtained nothing because of the current law.

The initiators of this bill propose that the retrocession to the Metropolis of Bessarabia be done via the laws on the protection of monuments and denationalisation of public property.

The leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party in Romania, PSD, Marcel Ciolacu, said Moldovan citizens would benefit from justice being done to the Metropolis of Bessarabia.

"After 30 years of discrimination and injustice,...

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