Albanian Orthodox Church – April 2016
22 April 2016, Elbasan – Press Release
(The Committee for Interfaith Cooperation in Elbasan responds to the smear and attacks of Mr. Nikolla Marku against the Church,against the new Metropolitan of Elbasan and other religious representatives)
The Committee for Interfaith Cooperation in Elbasan has followed with concern, sympathy and compassion the latest statement released in the media by Mr. Nikolla Marku on April 19, 2016, in which he uses a language filled with anger, insults and expressions that are not worthy at all of a civilized man and especially of someone who introduces himself as a clergyman and who, as such, must preach peace and love.
For several years now, the Center for Interfaith Cooperation in Elbasan has been engaged in enhancing and strengthening the harmony between religious communities in our county, being thus a promoter and supporter of the interreligious dialogue. It has positively contributed to resolving the problems encountered by the religious communities over the years with the aim to help each other for the benefit of our society. But in no way has it ever been involved or intervened in any of the internal issues and problems of the religious communities so as to respect their freedom and their full independence.
“There is no reason to agree with anyone who speaks the language of hatred, insult or allusion to violence both within or outside of the religious community; therefore we unanimously oppose Mr. Nikolla Marku’s statement against His Grace Anthony, the newly elected Metropolitan of Elbasan, and his defamatory remarks towards the honorable religious representatives who responded to the invitation made by the Orthodox Church with humility and pastoral responsibility. In the same way, the invitation was also accepted by state authorities, as well as central and local authorities who were present together at the enthronement of His Grace Anthony, the Metropolitan of Elbasani, Shpati and Librazhdi pertaining to the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania.
We, the members of the Committee for Interfaith Cooperation in Elbasan, unanimously express our best wishes on the occasion of the Enthronement of His Grace Anthony, as Metropolitan of Elbasani, Shpati and Librazhdi of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, hoping that with his humility and dedication he will contribute at his best to the Orthodox community and to all the residents of the District of Elbasan.”
-The Members of the Committee for Interfaith Cooperation in Elbasan:
Imam Agim Duka, Father George Trebicka, Baba Faik Selmani, Parish Priest Mr. Emilio Valente, Mr. Arben Ramkaj, Father Stavri Çipi, Dervish Admir Muçodemi and Mr. Sokol Lulgjuraj.