Message from the Bishop's office on proposed gold mining in Romania

The message below was sent by the Bishop's office in Koloszvár to keep us informed about their actions regarding the proposed gold mining in Romania.   

Statement

The Hungarian-speaking historic Churches in Romania firmly reject the cyanide-based mining project of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, a Romanian-Canadian joint venture, which plans to establish Europe’s largest outcrop gold mine in Rosia Montana (Verespatak in Hungarian, Goldbach in German), Transylvania. Further, we firmly protest against the new bill proposed by the Romanian Government, which –– despite the existing domestic laws –– would allow the opening of the mine at Rosia Montana.

 In 2003, we jointly protested against the gold-mine project. God’s Creation and our ancient built heritage will be obliterated if the gold-mine is opened. Our villages, places of worship, and cemeteries will be razed, creating the world’s largest „toxic tailings” dam on planet earth. (When completed, the mining project will leave about 200 million tons of cyanide-laced waste).

 It is our calling to protect God’s Creation, and to preserve our heritage against an environmental “ticking time bomb” which could ultimately unleash a natural disaster on the entire European population, by polluting key waterways. The mine would destroy hundreds of houses, nine churches, and ten cemeteries. We do not accept the destruction of our property.

 The Constitution of Romania grants the right to a healthy and natural environment, and it prescribes the obligations of citizens and institutions to protect the environment. Further, the Constitution of Romania protects the right to private property and the inviolability of “residence.” Besides, the European Parliament (EP) initiated a ban on cyanide-based mining technology in the European Union, by an overwhelming ratification vote in 2010. 

 Therefore, we were astonished that the Romanian Government submitted this bill to the Parliament, who holds the final authority and decision. We object the planned destruction of nature, the violation of property, the demolition of cultural values, which would occur if the bill is adopted.

We request the Government to withdraw the challenged bill. If not withdrawn, we request that all Members of Parliament vote NO to cyanide-based mining technology.

 We are aware that many –– socially underprivileged –– locals of Rosia Montana hoped to get jobs with the mining project. We therefore request the Romanian Government to take targeted measures in order to solve mass unemployment and other social issues in that particular region. 

 May God protect our environment and future! 

 16 September 2013

  

György Jakubinyi, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) 

Béla Kató, Bishop of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District 

Ferenc Bálint Benczédi, Bishop of the Unitarian Church 

István Csűry, Bishop of the Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District 

Jenő Schönberger, Bishop of the Szatmár (Satu-Mare) Roman Catholic Diocese 

László Böcskei, Bishop of the Nagyvárad (Oradea) Roman Catholic Diocese 

Dezső Zoltán Adorjáni, Bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Romania