Albanian martyrs knew God’s consolation, Pope says off-the-cuff

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 03:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- God’s consolation for Albania’s martyrs and other persecuted Christians is a reminder for us all of the intimate consolation that God offers amid suffering, Pope Francis said in unscripted remarks at a Sunday vespers service. “The Lord consoled them because there were people in the Church, the people of God – the old ladies, holy and good, many cloistered sisters... who prayed for them. And this is the mystery … [Read more...]

Faith brings light to hardship, Pope Francis says at Children’s center

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 12:17 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis visited an Albanian center for abandoned children on Sunday, emphasizing in his remarks that Christian charity can help bring oneself and others closer to God. “This faith, working through charity, dislodges the mountains of indifference, of disbelief and of apathy, and opens hands and hearts to work for what is good and share this experience,” the Pope said in an evening speech Sept. 21. “Through humble … [Read more...]

Truth has ‘power of attraction,’ Pope says to religious leaders

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 09:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The “conviction that truth has its own power of attraction,” said Pope Francis, negates the need for those secure in their faith to impose their beliefs on others.These were some of the remarks delivered during his meeting with the religious leaders of Albania as part of his Sept. 21 Apostolic Journey to the country.Stressing the importance of promoting religious freedom, Pope Francis emphasized the need to foster an … [Read more...]

Update in Albania – Muslims pray for Pope, security a non-issue

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 06:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a press briefing Sunday the Vatican's spokesman downplayed worries over Pope Francis' safety in Albania, also noting that Muslims gathered in an important Tirana mosque to pray for the pontiff's visit. Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists that the Sept. 21 papal visit has been welcomed with joy by all the Albanian religious communities. On why Pope Francis did not stop the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis to Albanian youth: Where you exist, there is hope

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 05:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After celebrating Mass at Mother Teresa square during his one-day trip to Albania, Pope Francis led the crowds in the angelus prayer, urging the country's young people to live a life fully engaged with Christ. “Dear young people, you are the new generation of Albania,” he said Sept. 21. “With the power of the Gospel and the example of the martyrs, you know how to say 'No' to the idolatry of money, … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: No one can use religion as a pretext for violence

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis opened his trip to Albania praising the “coexistence” between members of different faiths in the country, while condemning those who “consider themselves to be the 'armour' of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression.” “May no one use religion,” the Pope said, “as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of … [Read more...]

After brutal persecution, Albania ‘reopened’ to missionary zeal

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 03:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During Mass at Mother Teresa square as part of his one-day trip to Albania, Pope Francis recalled the country's vicious history of anti-religious persecution, saying it is now ready for the Gospel to flourish. “Recalling the decades of atrocious suffering and harsh persecutions against Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims, we can say that Albania was a land of martyrs: many bishops, priests, men and women religious, and laity … [Read more...]