(Pope Francis) The Catholic Church in Albania is excited about the chance to have Pope Francis visit their country on Sunday. The trip will be short, but will be packed with activities, including Mass in Mother Teresa Square in the capital Tiriana.
Bishop George Anthony Frendo, OP, the Auxiliary Bishop of Tirana, said the people of Albania are impressed with the figure of the Holy Father.
Listen to the full interview by Christopher Wells with Bishop Frendo:
“I think many see him as a defender of the marginalized, the poor, and other people who are discriminated in society; and he inspires great hope, especially towards sinners,” he told Vatican Radio. “He is constantly emphasizing God’s mercy, and in this way he is inviting sinners to turn to the Lord.”
Although Catholics only make up 15% of the population, Bishop Frendo said the Church is growing.
“One thing that inspires us with a certain joy – satisfaction - is that every year we have a good number of adults who ask to be baptized, some coming also from other religions…and this gives us great hope for the future of the Church,” he said.
“However, the Church can be perhaps more prophetic, siding with the marginalized, the poor especially,” Bishop Frendo added. “Albania has a lot of progress these last 20 years, however there is still a good percentage that is very, very poor; and we can always be more prophetic defending the defenseless.”
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