BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - About 200 Roman Catholic priests and nuns protested Thursday in the capital to demand the government halts the construction of a new high-rise office building near their main cathedral in the capital.
"Ignoring the rights of the Catholic community in Romania is an act of discrimination,'' the church said in a statement, adding that it has filed complaints with the European Commission and other European Union bodies.
The country's dominant Orthodox Church also published a statement condemning the construction of the high-rise.
Built in the late 19th century, the St. Joseph Cathedral is considered one of Bucharest's top architectural sites, after former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu wiped out large parts of the old city to build huge offices for himself.
The Vatican also expressed concern over the development, as did dozens of local architects and civic groups, who fear structural damage to the cathedral and the alteration of the city's architectural landscape.
The same developer also built another high-rise next to the city's old Armenian church, another historical monument, which suffered damaged to its foundation. The company, Millennium, has said the cathedral's structure is not threatened by the high-rise.