Google Bucharest fined for blasphemous renaming of Orthodox cathedral on Google Maps

Bucharest, June 18, 2020

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Google Bucharest was sanctioned on Wednesday by the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) for not taking any action concerning the blasphemous renaming of the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral of the Nation’s (or People’s) Salvation on Google Maps.

The name of the new church was left as “Cathedral of the Stupidity of the Nation” in the app for several days, reports the Basilica News Agency.

The name change was first noticed by Android users on Saturday, May 2. The Orthodox faithful quickly took to social media, demanding that the issue be remedied as quickly as possible. Patriarchate spokesman Vasile Bănescu noted that the cathedral was built “in memory of the best of the people of this country—its heroes.”

“The Christophobia of some people … indicates a dangerous moral pathology that is already causing much harm in Europe and the world that Christianity has civilized over two millennia,” he said.

According to the CNCD communiqué, Google Bucharest, the Romanian subsidiary of the American company, received a misdemeanor fine of $2,325 (10,000 lei) by unanimous vote. The CNCD believes that the situation constitutes an act of discrimination and violates the right to dignity.

Google Bucharest is also obliged to publish a summary of the decision on the front page of the Romanian version of Google.

“We thank all those who took a stance against this intolerable abuse and offense against the Church and, specifically, against the National Cathedral,” Bănescu said in response to the CNCD’s decision.

The idea to build the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral was launched right after Romania gained its state independence in 1877 but became a reality only 130 years later under His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.

The cathedral was consecrated in November 2018 by Pat. Daniel and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

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