Complete Renovation Work on the Greek-Catholic Cathedral of Saint Basil in Romania
Project Code: 423-01-19
When Pope John Paul II travelled to Romania in May 1999, 10 years after the collapse of communism, he recalled the many bishops and priests, the male and female religious and the laity who had endured the persecution and, in many cases, borne witness to their faith by the shedding of their blood. At the same time, he called on young people especially to help to work for a better future. In his address at the airport in Bucharest he said, "During this century that is now drawing to its end, your fatherland has endured the horrors of harsh totalitarian regimes, and in its suffering it has shared the fate of many other countries of Europe. … Thanks be to God that after the harsh winter of communist rule, the springtime of hope is now dawning."
During his pastoral trip to Romania, the Pope also celebrated the Sacred Liturgy in the Byzantine rite. For many Catholics in Romania belong to the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church which, while recognizing the Pope in just the same way as the Latin Catholic Church, nonetheless celebrates the Liturgy according to the Byzantine rite. The bishops, priests and faithful of this community were particularly harshly persecuted during the communist era, and after the political changes their Church was obliged to begin again from next to nothing.
Close to 90% of the Romanian population belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church, while some 6% are Catholics, and of these, 200,000 (the statistics vary widely) follow the Byzantine rite. The Romanian (Greek-) Catholic Church has six eparchies, or dioceses, today, its former vicariate in Bucharest having been raised only at the end of May 2014 to the status of an eparchy and placed under the patronage of Saint Basil the Great.
The Romanian (Greek-) Catholic parish church of Bucharest, which now serves as the cathedral, is likewise dedicated to this great saint of the Early Church. Built in 1918, it has suffered extensive damage, and it was not until 2007 that the authorities finally granted permission for its renovation.
The Romanian Catholic community was able to complete some of the work from its own resources, but in 2012 they turned to ACN for help for the first time. Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to help with a grant of $19,300. Now we have been asked for help once more to enable them to finally complete the renovation work, including the insulation of the floor and the heating system. We have promised $6,500. Will you help us keep this promise to complete renovation work on the Greek-Catholic Cathedral of Saint Basil in Romania?
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