His Beatitude Anastasios, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Albania, visited yesterday afternoon the Community of Sant'Egidio. The Archbishop was in Rome for a few days in order to meet the Pope Benedict XVI
The long meeting with the Community began in the Basilica of San Bartolomeo, the memorial of the martyrs of the 20th Century. Here the delegation of the CHurch of Albania stood in prayer in front of the altars that keep the memory of Albanian Christians who were persecuted during the years of the Communist regime.
The Primate then went to the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, where, with his delegation, he participated to the evening prayer of the Community. During the Homily the Archbishop remembered the long friendship that links the Church of Albania to the Community of Sant'Egidio. This friendship dates back in the years when the Church of Albania, after a long persecution, was moving its first steps towards reconstruction. He also spoke about the "surprise" for such a profound and intense ecumenical solidarity .
“We Christians must dare hope", he repeated, stressing how the new challanges for the Church - materialism and global financial crisis - are, once again, asking for Christian unity.