Tirana, Albania, December 2, 2017
A presentation took place at a recent book fair in Tirana, Albania that has shocked and insulted Orthodox Christians both in Albania and abroad. As previously reported, the book, Demons in Cassocks, blasphemously treats the great missionary St. Kosmas of Aetolia and the current primate of the Albanian Church His Eminence Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania, and is aimed specifically against the Orthodox Church and Greeks living in Albania.
The Holy Synod of the Albanian Orthodox Church has posted a message on the Church’s website denouncing the book and promising to continue to labor for the good of the faithful.
“Some circles, from time to time, come up with various rumors, lurking lies and inventions, to offend the personalities of the Orthodox Church,” the Synod writes. “This book is a fake fantasy rush, presents itself as a novel, but directly mentions two historical names: St. Kosmas of Kolkondas (Fier), and Archbishop Anastasios.”
It is clear that the purpose of the book is to sully their good names and their authority, the Synod states, “inventing imaginary dialogues and completely distorting their history.”
“But first of all, it insults all Orthodox, not only in Albania, but also all over the Orthodox world, who honor and respect these figures in a special way,” the bishops highlight.
The Synod goes on to note that it is adding its own official protest to the author, Sejdi Kondi, widely known for his nationalist views and for calling for the expulsion of Orthodox Greeks from Albania, the publisher, and the political circles that insist on promoting the book.
“The time has come for this uncharted sacrilege to end and to remove this turbulent book that insults not only the Orthodox community but constitutes a stoning of religious harmony for which our country boasts and undermines peaceful coexistence,” the Synod writes.
The Synod ends with the promise, “The Orthodox Church will certainly doggedly continue its creative work, radiating love and hope in all directions,” and a quote from St. John Chrysostom:
“The Church wins when they fight; when they make plans against it, it is strengthened; when shame becomes brighter, it always blossoms.”