Tirana, April 20, 2021
The right to vote is more than simply a right, but an obligation of responsible citizens, His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania preached on Sunday.
Referring to the general Parliamentary elections to be held on Sunday, April 25, the Archbishop reminded his flock of the Church’s guiding principles for involvement in the political life of the country.
“We have emphasized since the first year that our Church does not deal with political parties, nor does it interfere in the political issues that the country has,” His Beatitude said, reports the Church’s official Radio Ngjallja.
“This is the first principle we as a Church have followed,” he emphasized.
“But there is a second principle that is very important,” the Albanian primate continued, “we, Orthodox Christians, as citizens of this country, must be responsible and we have the obligation to vote. We can’t say we’re indifferent and don’t deal with issues like these.”
And the Church provides very important criterion for choosing whom to vote for: “We vote for people who are clean, who don’t put themselves before us, and who have the ability to lead us into progress, meaning mutually moving forward.”
“And I repeat,” His Beatitude said, “The right to vote is a very important obligation that we have.”
In 2019, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church issued guidelines for clerical participation in political events, emphasizing that clergyman cannot run for office, prayer services at the request of political players must be held in an Orthodox church, and clergy greetings to politicians must be of a spiritual nature.