Another building could have been identified for the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia, said former Prime Minister Ion Sturza. According to him, the government’s decision to retrocede a historic building in central Chisinau to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia by derogation from the law generates disputes in society. The right to ownership should be obeyed, but in the current conditions equitable retroceding of buildings becomes an extremely difficult process, IPN reports.
Under a bill sponsored by the PAS MPs, the state-owned building of the former Theological Seminar is signed over free of charge to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia by derogation from the law. The condition is to keep the initial architectonic aspect of the building. Ex-Premier Ion Sturza said that in the current conditions, the retroceding conditions for those who were abusively deprived of property cannot be equitable.
“I do not challenge the retroceding procedures. But for the Republic of Moldova, in over 30 years of the declaring of its Independence, during which the ownership picture changed considerably and most of the assets, including real estate, are no longer owned by the state, it will be very hard to make equitable retroceding for all those who were unjustly deprived of property. In this case, they promote separate legislation for the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia. I do not challenge the possibility of transferring buildings to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia for fulfilling its direct duties, possibly less for bureaucratic activities, as offices,” Ion Sturza stated in the program “In the Context” on the public TV channel.
According to the ex-Premier, the government’s decision to offer the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia a historic building where there is a wing of the National Library caused controversy. To do justice to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia, the government can find another building.
“When a part of the parishioners started to switch over from the Metropolitan Church of Vladimir to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia, no impediments were faced and they passed together with churches and buildings. The discussions are generated by the building that is one of the few cultural edifices. It houses the oldest collection of old books, with over 30,000 folios, being equipped with modern book maintaining technologies. I think another building could have been identified. This is my viewpoint. There will be heated debates. The opinions will differ, but this is a democratic process,” noted Ion Sturza.
In a press release, the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia noted that the right to ownership is a basic right protected by the national legislation and international legal framework. The last lawful owner of the building that was abusively confiscated by the Soviet occupation regime together with other buildings was the Archbishopric of Chisinau, a constitutive eparchy of the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia within the Romanian Patriarchy, which became a legal entity in 1923. The Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia assured it will not change the purpose of the building and the National Library’s activities will not be affected.