Although faced with a slightly shrinking budget, the council of Romania’s Temes/Timiș County – one of the country’s most affluent regions – approved a donation of RON 100,000 (EUR 21,000) towards the construction of Romania’s most ambitious religious building project ever, the People’s Salvation Cathedral in the capital of Bucharest, local news portal tion.ro reports.
The last-minute amendment to re-allocate the sum from the Roads chapter of the western county’s budget to the Churches chapter was – somewhat surprisingly – introduced by council member Titu Bojin of the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR). Bojin did not even attend the voting session of the council, and the amendment was presented by another representative of the party, Viorel Matei, in his stead. The amendment was approved without much discussion or any opposition by the other council members.
The UNPR – formed from breakaway groups of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the (PNL) in 2010 – styles itself as having a social-democratic doctrine with shades of progressivism, opposes conservatism and neo-conservatism and advocates wealth taxes and the decentralization of Romania.
The construction of the People’s Salvation Cathedral began in 2010 and is currently 95 percent complete, with the cost so far estimated at EUR 110 million. With a height of 135 meters, from the ground to the top of the cross on its 120-meter-high dome, it is the third tallest domed church in the world, after Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in the Ivory Coast and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. It is also the largest and tallest Orthodox cathedral in the world.
Temes County has a budget of RON 657 million (EUR 138 million) this year, RON 25 million less than in 2019.
Title image: The People’s Salvation Cathedral in the Romanian capital of Bucharest. (Wikimedia Commons/Mihail)