State secretary discusses church issues in Romania

Bucharest, March 25 (MTI) – Laszlo Szaszfalvi, Hungary’s state secretary in charge of church issues and ethnic minorities, discussed topics including restitution for Hungarian churches in Romania, the situation of the Orthodox Church, as well as using the mother tongue in services for Csango Hungarians, during talks in Bucharest.

Szaszfalvi told MTI on Friday that his Romania visit was aimed at continuing the dialogue between Hungary and the Orthodox Church, as well as to strengthen the role of traditional Hungarian churches in Romanian society and in the preservation of cohesion between the Hungarian community.

During talks with Orthodox Patriarch Daniel, Szaszfalvi urged that the restitution process involving Hungarian churches in Romania should be accelerated. He also told the patriarch that Hungary was mulling an agreement with the Orthodox Church under which its organisations in Hungary would receive the same subsidies as other traditional churches in the country.

At a meeting with Apostolic Nuncio Francisco-Javier Lozano and Roman Catholic Archbishop Ioan Robu, Szaszfalvi reviewed issues around the minority Hungarian churches, including the possibility of providing services to Csango Hungarians in Moldavia in their mother tongue. The nuncio voiced full support to that possibility, while the archbishop suggested that local church authorities should be approached with a request, Szaszfalvi said.