The Archbishop of Tomis, His Holiness Teodosie, has been placed under court supervision for 60 days for passive bribery and the use of false, inaccurate or incomplete documents or statements in order to obtain undue European grants.
Prosecutors claim the actions of His Holiness Teodosie and of his accomplices have caused over 1 million Lei in damage.
“From 2010 to 2016, defendant Petrescu Teodosie, in his capacity as Archbishop of Tomis, along with the other defendants, used false statements in their relationship with the Agricultural Payments Agency (APIA) in order to receive European grants. In the statements they presented before APIA, the defendants falsely claimed they were using certain agricultural land to grow vine, when in fact, starting in 2010, vineyards no longer existed on the said agricultural land. (…) The guilty acts resulted in them obtaining a total of 1,356,973 Lei in undue European grants, as part of the surface area subsidy schemes, as follows: 142,988 Lei in 2010, 148,619 Lei in 2011, 239,732 Lei in 2012, 262,267 Lei in 2013, 281,733 Lei in 2014, 281,633 Lei in 2015, the payments not being yet authorised in 2016 (this guilty act has remained in the stage of attempt),” the DNA communique reads.
Moreover, in the spring of 2016, defendant Teodosie Petrescu, in his capacity as Archbishop of Tomis, took the sum of Euro 500 from a person.
“That sum of money was received in relation to defendant Teodosie Petrescu’s observance of his official prerogatives, in the sense of ordering that the person concerned should receive a legal remuneration for the activity they were carrying out in a parish,” reads the prosecutor’s communique.
Defendant Petrescu Teodosie has been warned that if he breaks the conditions of his court supervision order could be replaced with house arrest or pre-trial arrest.
Likewise, anticorruption prosecutors have ordered the start of a criminal prosecution against Beca Stere, Malaxa Bogdan-Petrisor, Nadoleanu Gheorghe and Cojocaru Ciprian-Ioan, authorised persons of the Archbishopric of Tomis at the time, who are suspected of using false, inexact or incomplete documents or statements in order to obtain undue European grants, and against Stefan Aurelian, suspected of the same guilty act.
Patriarchy’s reaction: If charges turn out to be true, measures will be taken in line with Synod’s Regulations
Romanian Patriarchy Spokesperson Vasile Banescu announced that if the DNA’s accusations turn out to be true, the measures called for by the Synod’s Regulations will be taken.
“It’s a regrettable situation. The Romanian Patriarchy cannot comment on this situation. There is no need for any approval from the Patriarchy. We are respectfully waiting for the investigation to be carried out and for the results to be announced. We are waiting for these investigations to be finalised, we never before faced such a thing at this level. I have no knowledge of any kind of personal talks between Patriarch Daniel and His Holiness Teodosie. This case has nothing to do with the Patriarchy. If proven true, the Metropolitan Synod will enforce the appropriate measures,” Romanian Patriarchy Spokesperson Vasile Banescu told B1TV.
The list of conditions imposed includes one according to which Teodosie Petrescu is not to exercise, directly or indirectly, any decision-making duties in relation to the tapping of European/public grants within the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Patriarchy and the Tomis Archbishopric.