EUROPE/ALBANIA - CARITAS ALBANIA: FORGIVENESS AND LOVE TO OVERCOME HATRED AND FEUDS, DEEPLY ROOTED CUSTOMS

Friday, 2 May 2003

Tirana (Fides Service) – Festivity, reflection, dialogue, is the climate of celebrations for the 10th anniversary of Caritas Albania at Peace Village in Albania. The celebrations include conferences and various other events at Scutari and in Tirana with the participation of representatives of the Holy See and of various European national Caritas groups, Catholic NGOs, Albania government officials, friends, volunteers and collaborators.
Bishop Gjergji Dode, president of Caritas Albania, said to Fides Service: “This is an important day for all of us. We want to look at the past to learn from our mistakes and try to do better in the future. We have great hopes: in ten years we have seen our work bear fruit, with the collaboration of our friends from Caritas offices all over Europe, Caritas Italy especially.” The Bishop explains “today our priority is to help the poorest of the poor and provide professional training for young people and to educate the children in Christian values of forgiveness and solidarity”.
Fabrizio Righi, head of Italian Caritas in Albania for the past six years tells Fides Service about their work. “We can certainly draw a positive picture of the results of the pastoral of charity in these ten years. Caritas Albania has made great progress, working in emergencies, such as the war in Kosovo, but now a new season has begun and it is time to stabilise infrastructures”.
Righi says that Caritas activity also includes promoting reconciliation among families divided by Kanun a custom based on feuds and violence. “We visit families shut up in their homes for fear of acts of reciprocal revenge and we try to bring them to make peace with each other, proposing respect for the law and carrying out educaiton to peace and reconciliation”.
Caritas Albania is already missionary, supporting Caritas Kosovo in assisting refugees. PA (Fides Service 2/5/2003 EM lines 29 Words: 300)


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