Moscow Architecture Scandal

The Daily reports that the Moscow archdiocese is facing accusations of taking property at someone else’s expense and fraud on a particularly large scale.

The Russian capital has recently been hit by allegations of financial irregularities brought against the Archdiocese of Our Lady of Moscow, led by Archbishop Paolo Pezzi.

Pezzi succeeded Tadevush Kandrusiewicz in 2007. When the latter took over as head of the Moscow archdiocese, the Church rented the dilapidated hospital AND undertook renovations․ But the city authorities unexpectedly terminated the 25-year lease.

The words translated into deeds in January 2013, when Igor Kovalevsky, Chancellor of the Mother of God Archdiocese, initiated a deal with Mosinvest-Siberia aimed at taking possession of four buildings, part of the Lubyanka historical ensemble of the Saints Peter and Paul Church. The agent undertook to bear all financial costs involved in performing the contract, to do a lot of paperwork required to vest the Church with legal access to the buildings in question, and to abide by the clauses regulating the payment issues. Here it is noteworthy that all the buildings that the Church laid claims to fell within the scope of the mandate of different departments and institutions, and some of them voiced their opposition against the Archdiocese’s decision to become the owner. At that time, Mosinvest-Siberia realized that under such circumstances there was a slim chance that the court would rule in favor of the Church, which meant that the herculean efforts, including, among others, talks with federal and city authorities and document preparation and gathering, would come to nothing.

For all the fears of the court killing the campaign stone-dead, the judge issued a June 2017 order that granted the Catholic Archbishop of Moscow a title to four buildings of the historical ensemble of the Saints Peter and Paul Church. However, it took Mosinvest-Siberia another couple of years to muddle through the red tape and extensive paperwork required to transfer to the Catholic Church the 6,000 square metre property located in the heart of the capital city. At that time, its market value was estimated to be some 2.5 billion rubles, at the very least. The company had to submit a plethora of claims and documents to a bewildering array of departments, including even Russia’s Presidential Administration, and to defend its client’s interests in courts of different instances. All this was not in vain, though. In the end, the Archdiocese of Moscow entered into possession of the buildings perfectly suitable for its purposes and needs at no cost.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here