The example of Albania
· Interview with Archbishop Mirdita on the eve of the papal trip ·
“I believe that the suffering and the hopes of our are people is the reason behind the Pope's decision to visit our country. He mentioned himself in various addresses the suffering of the people of Albania, the religious persecution under the atheist regime and peaceful coexistence between religious groups”.
Archbishop Rrok Mirdita of Tiranë-Durrës thus explained the significance of the Holy Father's visit on Sunday to Albania. This visit will be Pope Francis' first European journey outside of Italy. The response on a political level to this coexistence,” the Archbishop continued, “has important value because the presence of those belonging to various religious denominations among the leaders of public life helps maintain social equilibrium. In this sense, Albania can be a good example”. He also added that the people see “Pope Francis as an authoritative moral leader. Everyone admires his simplicity and consistency; his ability to speak directly to the hearts of all; the firmness with which he denounces the evils of today's world, mostly the evil of corruption which, here, is a very sensitive subject; his clear position on behalf of the poor, who are the majority here in Albania. Civil society is expecting encouraging words from the Pope and incisiveness in his suggestions for those in political life but also much attention paid to the international community's view of Albania – a country which came out of one of the fiercest dictatorships in Europe and which is in need of help. Everyone hopes that Pope Francis' visit will renew hope”.
St. Peter’s Square
Dec. 15, 2017