Compromise Solution Follows Protests by Community,
Hungarian Foreign Ministry
Washington, DC – On September 9, national and local authorities in Romania agreed on a solution to allow students of the Roman Catholic Secondary School in Târgu Mureș (Marosvásárhely) to begin the school year today, as planned, in the school’s original building.
The high school, which traces its roots to the Middle Ages, serves the Hungarian minority population of Târgu Mureș.
This is welcome news since just last Wednesday, following news that Romanian authorities had suspended the school’s operations , thousands of demonstrators turned out to demand that state authorities uphold the right of the school to operate as a Roman Catholic, Hungarian-language institution. The demonstration drew thousands of parents, students and supporters from across Transylvania, including György Jakubinyi, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Alba Iulia, as well as other community and religious leaders.
György Jakubinyi, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Alba Iulia and Bishop Bela Kato of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Transylvania at a demonstration for the school. Source: Magyar Nemzet
However, the larger question of legal status of the school remains unresolved.
In Hungary, the Foreign Ministry reacted by summoning Romania’s ambassador for consultations. Hungary’s State Secretary Levente Magyar voiced the Hungarian government’s shock and told a press conference that the official measures to undermine the school’s functioning equaled “an attack against the Catholic Church, the Hungarian minority, children, families, and the restitution process in Romania.” The Hungarian government also announced it had suspended its support for Romania’s aspirations to join various international organizations such as the OECD.
According to a new decision last Friday by Maros County education authorities, the Roman Catholic Secondary School can now operate after all, in its own building. However, administratively the school is a considered a subdivision of the nearby Bolyai Farkas Secondary School, another Hungarian institution. The legal status of the Roman Catholic school’s principal remains unresolved.
The new solution is an acceptable one under the circumstances, said Csengele Csíky, spokesman for the school’s parent group. “We’re not thrilled that the Catholic school’s legal status has been suppressed, but the kids are here, the teachers are here, we have the infrastructure – the only thing missing is legal status.”
Sources: Hungary Matters Desk – Duna/MTVA; The Romania Journal; Index.hu, Magyar Nemzet