Pope Francis’ travels in Europe are beginning from the outskirts. This is how people in Albania consider his first visit in the old continent, which will be to Tirana on 21 September. “If material wellbeing is considered the centre, then Albania is definitely the outskirts”, Archbishop Rrok K. Mirdita said in an interview with Vatican Radio. “But our country” — he clarified — “is rich in other values. We have the continent’s youngest population, notwithstanding the migratory flows”. So, according to the prelate, “Pope Francis enters the European continent through the encounter with a people who have suffered much, but who also have much to give to Europe”. And the Pontiff will be welcomed by “a Church which is always close to the people” in a context which today finds Albania to be “a model of religious coexistence”. And the witness of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a Skopje native whose name remains linked to the Albanian people, helped to achieve these goals.
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