Statement of The Transylvanian Reformed Church District’s Extraordinary Assembly regarding the Re-Nationalization of the Székely Mikó Reformed High-School in Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe by the Romanian State
Unanimously approved on
the 29th of November 2014.
“For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred”? Esther 8:6
The unwavering foundation of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District and the Reformed Church in Romania as a whole is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is testified by the Holy Scripture, and articulated anew in the historic confessions of the Reformation. This defines and also limits the power of the Church which is necessary to fulfil its mission.
We, the representatives of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District, who gathered for an Extraordinary Assembly, hereby proclaim that all of us are bound together by the Confession of the one Lord of the One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic Church. According to the testimony of the Scripture Jesus Christ is the one and only to whom we must listen, in whom we are bound to trust both in our life and death.
We publicly declare to all Churches, the Transylvanian Society and the whole of creation, that the centuries-old legacy of our confessions and of our free practice of faith was most severely abused. This was triggered by the humiliating practice set up by the secular power and the decisions and actions of its subordinated government in the past 25 years, which in its consequences became increasingly perceptible till 2014. Hence currently the particular situation has emerged in which the Romanian State clearly expresses that the Reformed Church members and other minorities are not subject to the same rights as anyone else in this country.
Today, as members of the worldwide Christian family, as well as liable citizens of the European Union, it is our incontestable right and responsibility to raise our voice against this illegitimacy which is striking us. It is precisely because we want to become and remain devoted to our faith in God, we should not remain silent, for we believe that in time of common misery and assaults, we have to raise our voice together. Therefore, we entrust to God, what this means for the relationship of the confessing Church and the State. We acknowledge a single judicial power and this belongs to God. We profess together with every member of the Hungarian Reformed Church what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah (42.8): " I am the LORD: and my glory will I not give to another..."
Church and State are two organizations that depend on each other. The recent Eastern European history has shown eloquently where the road of those countries leads, whose executive bodies did not support the Church, rather turned against it with devastating intentions. This path is nothing else than the way of moral degradation, followed by economic crisis with inherent impoverishment, dividing enmity among the respective country's citizens.
By the definition of its mission, the Church serves the benefit and the rise of the people, of the nation, and of the whole country. As long as this task is fulfilled, the wise Government is beholden to the Church. To support the service of the Church is the State's own best interest, because the Church with its specific potentials is capable to address social issues concerning which the State has no concept of. Therefore, even today we cannot state anything more than what our fathers formulated in the Second Helvetic Confession: “Magistracy of every kind is instituted by God himself for the peace and tranquillity of the human race, and thus it should have the chief place in the world. If the magistrate is opposed to the Church, he can hinder and disturb it very much; but if he is a friend and even a member of the Church, he is a most useful and excellent member of it, who is able to benefit it greatly, and to assist it best of all. We certainly teach that the care of religion belongs especially to the holy magistrate. Let him, therefore, hold the Word of God in his hands, and take care lest anything contrary to it is taught. Likewise let him govern the people entrusted to him by God with good laws made according to the Word of God, Let him exercise judgment by judging uprightly. „ (II.H.C. Chapter XXX. Of the Magistracy)
The Reformed Church during its entire history, in accordance with the teachings of Christ, continuously assumed its deciding role in shaping current society: founded, built and maintained schools; founded, built and maintained hospitals, founded, built and maintained and charity homes; through its responsible members, elders and pastors shaped and formed the society.
This is still valid nowadays, therefore, on the threshold of Advent 2014, with the responsibility of our lives entrusted to the service of God, we firmly declare the following:
- Never, under any circumstances we yearned for what belonged to others, but we relentlessly insist upon the properties bequeathed to us by our ancestors.
- The Colleges, High Schools with their belonging estates and afferent properties, which carried out for centuries their mission, has always been, and we determinedly consider, still are in the possession of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District, which founded, built and operated them.
- Under no circumstances we will renounce the ownership of the Székely Mikó Reformed High-School in Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe, neither the right of our other heritages unlawfully held by the Romanian State: either sequestered buildings, lands, nor the confiscated registries or the looted archival documents.
- With reference to the principles of the European Union and within its framework, we relentlessly adhere to the Autonomy of the Church, which otherwise is also guaranteed by the Constitution of Romania.
- We insist on the fundamental right of our children be raised and educated in accordance with the teaching of our church and the doctrines of the Scripture, in a confessional manner, on all levels of education in their mother tongue.
- The immediate return of all the real estates of our Church confiscated, nationalized and re-nationalized during the era of communism, or in at present.
- To enforce and respect the lawful right of our Church to condcut religious education on all levels.
- Equal treatment, without discrimination for all the Churches in Romania.
- That Romania should respect and implement all its international commitments concerning the restitution of properties.
- That the competent bodies and authorities of the European Union and the responsible states of the world make sure that Romania respects and applies the basic right of every church and individual to property and ceases to freely continue this mockery of the fundamental human rights with perfect impunity.
- That the decision of the European Court of Human Rights taken in the case of the Roman Catholic Church in Romania, published in the Official Gazette under no. 200 / 09.04.2013 be enforced and implemented not only with regard to “Batthyaneum” in Alba Iulia, but also in the case of Székely Mikó Reformed High-School in Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe.
Verbum Dei manet in aeternum
Soli Deo Gloria
Approved by the:
Extraordinary Assembly of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District,
The Presidium of the Synod of the Reformed Church in Romania,
Supported by the General Convent of the Reformed Churches in the Carpathian Basin, represented by presiding bishop Rt. Rev. Gusztáv Bölcskei
on the 29th of November, 2014.