The mayor’s office of Zilah, where the venerable Hungarian Reformed Church institution is located, appealed the 2019 restitution decision of the Cluj Court of Appeals, forcing the rightful owner to file suit at the Supreme Court.
Wesselényi College was confiscated by the state from the Hungarian Reformed Church Diocese of Királyhágómellék in 1948. In 2003, the rightful owner filed a claim for restitution. Following several legal attacks by the state and countersuits for nearly two decades, a final verdict in favor of the Church was issued on December 2, 2021. Or so it seemed. The case of the Wesselényi College is a preeminent example of one of the inherent flaws of the restitution law and “process” whereby the state can attack decisions favoring the claimants, ad infinitum, thus subverting actual restitution.
Even the December Appeals Court of Cluj decision only partially approved the restitution claim. The Church would pay for some wings of the building, while it would receive compensation for the rest. Not only has the mayor’s office of Zilah attacked the appellate decision, but to deflect attention from this ongoing injustice of failing to return the property to its rightful owner, the local prosecutor has filed bogus criminal charges against the Hungarian Reformed Church’s two bishops who filed the restitution claims.