Great amount of publicity was given not only in Italy but also in Albania on the Meeting between the Archbishop of Tirana Anastasios and Pope Benedict XVI on the 4th of December.
Archbishop Anastasios stated that “a new approach between Christians is essential, as well as theological discussions and pacification among them which is a duty of all church leaders”. He also characterized the event being of historical importance.
As stated in the Vatican Radio Website: “Pope Benedict XVI on Friday praised excellent relations and cooperation between Albania’s Orthodox Christians and Catholics, saying it is an inspiration to Albanians of how various religions can live in harmony. The Pope made the remark to a delegation of the Albanian Orthodox Church, led by its head Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania.
The Pope remembered Albania’s Orthodox and Catholic faithful who kept their faith alive in spite of an “extremely repressive and hostile atheistic regime” in the second half of the last century, with many facing cruel death because of their faith. But since the fall of the regime the Orthodox community has been experiencing a ‘resurrection’ in its missionary activities. The Pope commended Archbishop Anastasios for his Church’s participation in the Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue, saying it offers an inspiration to the entire Albanian people how it is possible for fellow Christians to live in harmony.
The Holy Father particularly mentioned the establishment of the Interconfessional Biblical Society and the creation of the Committee for Interreligious Relations, saying they are timely efforts to promote mutual understanding and tangible cooperation, not only between Catholics and Orthodox, but also among Christians, Muslims and Bektashi, an Islamic Sufi order. Al”
Sources: ANA MPA, VATICAN RADIO WEBSITE