Page 4, 28th June 2002

28th June 2002
Page 4
Page 4, 28th June 2002 — Europe

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Catholics seek restitution

EASTERN-RITE Catholics in Romania have demanded the return of property seized by the communists.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Adrian Nastase and Culture Minister Razvan Theodorescu, a Romanian bishop called "for the return of property abusively confiscated and now in the hands of the state."

Over 2000 churches, and other assets, were confiscated from the Catholic Church in 1948 and handed over to the Orthodox Church. A ban on Catholic worship was lifted in 1989, but Romania insists it cannot force restitution, claiming only local worshippers can decide the ownership of a church. Eastern-rite Catholics adhere to Orthodox traditions but hold allegiance to the Pope.

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