Law on Establishing and Organizing Military Clergy (2000)

Law no. 195 of 6 November 2000
on establishing and organizing military clergy

(The text of the document is published in the Official Journal, PI, no. 561 of 13 November 2000)


CHAPTER I
General Provisions

    Article 1 (1) The military clergy is constituted of military priests operating in the armed forces.
    (2) The military clergy is created within the Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Interior, Romanian Intelligence Service, Foreign Intelligence Service, Protection Service, Special Telecommunications Service and the Ministry of Justice - General Department of Prisons, to meet the spiritual-religious needs of the military; for its members to contribute, through specific means and within their missions, to cultivate military virtues, civic responsibility and patriotic feelings among the soldiers.
    Article 2 – The military priest is the servant of a church or a denomination recognized by law as belonging to the armed forces, vested with the right to celebrate acts of worship and teach the believers. 
    Article 3 (1) - Spiritual and religious activities shall be conducted according to the church’s regulations, respecting the schedule established by the military priest and approved by the unity commander.  The participation of the military shall be voluntary. 
    (2) The participation of the military in religious educational, moral or civic activities, religious services officiated during national holidays, taking oaths, Commemorations, the days of the categories of the military forces, weapons’, unities’ days, Sundays and holidays, and in the patriotic-educational program related to these events, according to the plan.
    Article 4 – Military priests shall perform for soldiers, soldiers with reduced term, military hired on contractual basis, military professors, civilians and their families living in the military units’ perimeter both religious activities within unities and garrisons, according to the theory and practice of the respective denomination, and patriotic moral-religious education. 
    Article 5 (1) In peacetime, religious services shall be performed in military units’ worship places, in special destinations or on training fields. 
    (2) During campaigns, state of siege or state of emergency, religious services shall be conducted in corresponding manners and places for such situations.
    Article 6 (1) Military priests shall wear during religious services clothes belonging to the denomination and in the rest of the occasions, appropriate military clerical uniform. 
    (2) The rules concerning the military clerical uniform, distinctive and hierarchical symbols are established by Government’s decision.
    Article 7 – The military’s religious membership shall be considered the one declared by the military themselves.
    Article 8 - In all military units shall be forbidden to attract soldiers to a specific denomination through abusive means, others than those freely consented.

CHAPTER II
The organization of military clergy
 
    Article 9 (1) The process of recruiting military priests is performed by the Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Interior, Romanian Intelligence Service, Foreign Intelligence Service, Protection Service, Special Telecommunications Service and the Ministry of Justice - General Department of Prisons, from the clerical staff who possess Romanian citizenship, recommended by a legally constituted denomination, licensed in theology, with at least two years of church activity.
    (2) Employment of military priests shall be done on competitive basis.
    (3) The admitted candidates will follow specific training courses organized by institutions listed in Art. 1, in collaboration with denominations that recommended priest for the military.
    Article 10 (1) Within the Ministry of Defenses, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice shall be constituted a department for religious assistance.
    (2) In other institutions with active military priests shall be created appropriate structures to the requirements established by order of the leaders of those institutions.
    (3) The organization, structure and attributions of the structures stipulated in par. (1) and (2) shall be determined by the regulation on organization and functioning.
    Article 11 (1) The head of the Department for religious assistance shall posses the honorific position of senior administrative vicar and shall be appointed by the respective minister, from among the priests who fulfill the conditions for this function, at the proposal of the Romanian Orthodox Church, after consultation the ecumenical denominations represented in the ministries mentioned in art. 10 para. (A).
    (2) The head of the Department for religious assistance shall coordinate the permanent employed or contracted priests and pastors’ activity. 
    (3) In performing its duties, the head of the Department for religious assistance shall collaborate with an military adviser.
    Article 12 (1) To meet some religious needs clergy from denominations might be employed according to service agreements, under art. 3 a) and the other provisions of Law no. 130/1999 regarding some protection measures for the employed.
    (2) The clergy employed under par. (1) are recommended by the local bishop or the local head of the respective denomination, selected and empowered by the departments of religious assistance and must satisfy the requirements of Art. 9 para. (3).
    (3) During their activity, the clerics employed on service agreements will meet requirements set for permanent military clergy. They shall not obtain the status of an employee rights and shall not benefit from the rights provided for the legislation on protection of the unemployed, in the terms of art. 6. (1) of the Law no. 130/1999.
    Article 13 – The employment rights of the service agreement employed clergy shall be established proportionally to the performed monthly activity volume.
    Article 14 – Military priests shall subordinate military and administrative to the heads of their military structures and spiritually and canonical to the church hierarchy that recommended them.
    Article 15 – The military priests are assimilated to the military officer corps as follows:
a) I category garrison priests and assistant priest: assimilated to the rank of major;
b) II category garrison priests: assimilated to the rank of lieutenant colonel;
c) III category garrison priests, Bucharest Garrison priests and those from the Department of religious assistance: assimilated to the rank of colonel;
d) Inspector general and head of the Department of religious assistance: assimilated to the rank of brigade general: 

CHAPTER III
Duties and rights of military priests
    Article 16 - The provisions of art. 9-12, 14, 17-28 and 112 of Law no. 80/1995 on the status of the military staff shall be applied accordingly to military clergy and their families.
    Article 17 – The priest from military structures has mainly the following duties:
a) officiates the Mass and other religious services, administers sacraments and confession of the military and civilian staff, performs the pastoral individual and group work in units, according to Art. 3. (1);
b) teaches the soldiers of the same religion or denomination the doctrine of the religion or denomination;
c) performs moral-religious, ethical and civic education of the military personnel;
d) collaborates directly with other educational factors from units and garrisons to organize religious services during major historical and spiritual  events of the Romanian people;
e) offers religious assistance, upon request, to all soldiers, including those in hospitals, prisons or detention facilities;
f) participates through specific pastoral means to the spiritual formation, prevention and fighting anti-social events;
g) takes care, together with commanders or heads, of the moral, psychological and disciplinary state of the military;
h) participates, with the approval of commanders, to pastoral training programs organized by the respective religious denomination, without affecting it’s unit assistance activity.
 Article 18 - Military priests are restricted to the exercise certain rights and freedoms, as follows:
a) marriage to a stateless person or who does not possess exclusively the Romanian citizenship shall be subject to prior approval by the heads of the employment institutions;
b) participation in demonstrations or meetings of political or trade union character is prohibited;
c) military priests may go abroad according to the conditions and provisions established by internal regulations;
d) political opinions can be expressed only outside work, but in front of the parishioner military;
e) establishing various forms of professional, technical-scientific, cultural and recreational-sportive association, except trade unions or which contravene to single command, order and military discipline is permitted under the conditions established by regulations;
f) permanent military priests can not work as a parish priest until the cessation of the military clergy.
    Article 19 (1) Military priest may receive medals and titles of honor for acts of heroism, courage and dedication in executing missions and for outstanding achievements in carrying out their duties.
    (2) Military priests may be offered medals and military orders for length of service and outstanding results, and ranks and distinctions for religious activity. These distinctions and titles shall be performed according to regulations applicable to military staff. The actual length of military service means, according to this law, the period between the date of acquiring and ceasing of this quality.
    (3) According to military regulations, military priests may be granted moral and material rewards for exemplary performance of work duties.
    Article 20 (1) Military priests might be subjects to sanctions for violations of discipline, non-performance of duties or violation of social life rules.
    (2) The rules for determining penalties and their enforcement shall be developed by the ministry and the institution, together with the denominations the priests belong to, based on military and church regulations.

CHAPTER IV
Termination of the capacity of military priests

 Article 21 - Age limits by which priests can be kept in military functions are similar to those of the military personnel.
 Article 22 - Military priests cease to have that capacity in the following situations:
a) after reaching the age and length of service required for retirement;
b) are diagnosed by the military-medical commissions, according to the law, with disabilities of I, II or III degree;
c) when following the reorganization of units and reducing the functions there are no opportunities, needs and reasons to be employed in other units;
    d) upon request, for good reasons;
    e) upon resignation;
    f) they are convicted by final court decision to imprisonment;
    g) they violate the provisions of art. 28 of Law no. 80/1995;
    h) in other situations, established by ministries, institutions and respective denominations.
    Article 23 - (a) The decision on keeping the military priests employed during the criminal investigation phase or when they are sent into military court or ecclesiastical courts shall be taken, after solving the case, by the military prosecutor's office, military or ecclesiastical court.
    (2) The military priests who are investigated and prosecuted in freedom or released on bail shall be suspended from office during this period, when they do not beneficiate of any rights from the Ministry of National Defense. Those available are entitled to minimum pecuniary rights according to the rank they are assimilated to.
    (3) The military priesthood shall be ceased to the convicted military priests, previously suspended from office, from the date of suspension.
    (4) The military priests shall be restored in their rights existent on the date of suspension from office, if in respect to them the criminal investigations was discontinued or they were acquitted. 
    (5)  The restoration of rights may be also ordered in case of termination or criminal investigation or trial.
    Article 24 - (1) The military priests who do not qualify for retirement shall not cease their activity within the institutions they are employed, during temporary disability, hospitalizations, time spent in nursing homes or on sick leave.
    (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to those whom military priesthood shall be cease according to art. 22 d) e) f), g) and h).

CHAPTER V
Final Provisions

    Article 25 - the ministries and institutions in which they work shall determine Rules of evidence, selection, employment and promotion and on the assessment of military priests.
    Article 26 – The military units shall ensure, whenever possible, the necessary means for building or equipping the rooms destined for religious services and assistance.
    Article 27. - Within 60 days from the entry into force of this law, the institutions listed in Art. 1, par. (2) will develop organizational and operational rules for the departments of religious assistance, as well as the positions.
    Article 28. – On the date this Law is enacted, Government’s Decree 106/2000 on the establishment and organization of military clergy, published in the Official Journal, Part I, no. 436 of 3 September 2000 shall have been repealed.
    Article 29. - This Law shall enter into force 60 days after its publication in the Official Journal, Part I.