.- The Vatican has requested authorities in Romania to immediately suspend the construction of a 19-story office tower next to the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Bucharest.
According to a press release issued yesterday by the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican is calling on authorities to take the appropriate actions after the Romanian Senate approved a report of the commission of inquiry, which requires the immediate suspension of work. The suspension is only temporary and will continue if authorities do not intervene on behalf of the cathedral.
At the end of April, the Archdiocese of Bucharest informed the Vatican’s Secretariat of State about the construction of the building, less than 10 meters from the northeast wall of the Cathedral.
Church authorities said the construction project would risk irreparably damaging the cathedral, which in addition to its spiritual significance, is also an important heritage site for the country. An Armenian church recently had suffered grave damage for similar reasons.
The Vatican’s Secretariat of State approached Romanian authorities, both directly and through their embassy to the Holy See, to ask for the immediate suspension of work and the withdrawal of the associated building permits. The Vatican cited the 1993 European Union Treaty concerning Legal Conditions and Measures for Preserving Cultural Heritage, which Romania signed, and the State Commission Report for Monitoring Building.