Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tiraspol Bishop warns of Romanian "church war"

Bishop Justinian warns of "church war" if Romanian pushes its juridisction onto Transdniestria against the will of its believers
Bishop Justinian of Tiraspol and Dubossary warns of an impending "church war" if Romania goes forward with plans to create a new Diocese for Transdniestria. Romania made its decision unilaterally and without consulting anyone in Transdniestria first. In June, a Romanian Bishop recognized that Transdniestria had never been part of Moldova.
By Karen Ryan, 30/Oct/2007
TIRASPOL (Tiraspol Times) - A unilateral decision by the Romanian Patriarchy to create three new dioceses in Moldova and in Transdniestria is seen by a top Church official here as a crusade against the Russian Orthodox Church. Bishop Justinian of the Tiraspol and Dubossary Diocese says that this move would destabilize the foreign context in Western Europe.

The statement was made by Bishop Justinian - Transdniestria's highest ranking church official - after the Romanian Orthodox Church Synod announced plans to establish dioceses in Balti and Cantemir in Moldova, as well as a new one for Dubossary and the entire region of Transdniestria. All three territories are outside the jurisdiction of the Romanian church. The first two are currently dominated by the Metropolitan Church of Bassarabia (the Republic of Moldova), while the third is under Russian Orthodox Church jurisdiction.
Romania's move was done with no prior consultation with the areas in question. No consultation were made with Justinian or other church officials, who subsequently said that the decision was illegal and stated that it would not be implemented.

The decision is seen as the first step in a "church war" or a creeping putsch of Romanian-speakers in a territory which is traditionally not Romanian land, and where the majority of the believers are Russian Orthodox Christians.
Romanian Bishop: "Transnistria was never part of Moldova"

Transdniestria - which is also known as Transnistria - is traditionally Slav land: It was part of Kievan Rus more than a thousand years ago, and is majority Slavic. Most of the citizens speak Russian and the area has never formally been part of Romania or Moldova at any time in history. Its official name, according to its constitution, is Pridnestrovie which means "by the Dniester [river]".

In June, Romanian patriarchal bishop Vincenţiu Ploieşteanu publicly stated that "Transnistria was never part of Moldova". He told Romania's Gardianul newspaper that territorial conflict resolution had to be grounded in historical reality.
" - Transnistria is not Moldovan and it never belonged to Stefan cel Mare," he says. It was also never part of Romania at any time in history.

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