By The Associated Press
BUCHAREST, Romania — A church official says the Romanian Orthodox Church will borrow €200 million ($245 million) from banks to build a controversial cathedral.
Church project manager Nicolae Noica has said the church put up its forests, churches and other property to guarantee the loan for the Cathedral for the Salvation of the People.
Noica said Thursday that the money would be reimbursed from the collection plate and donations and not from the state budget.
More than 85 per cent of Romania's 22 million population belong to the church. It has been criticized for alleged extravagance on the project. Decoration alone will cost €100 million ($123 million).
Building will start on the cathedral this year, and is scheduled to be completed in 2013.