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    Saturday, September 30, 2006

    Albania and the EU


    In a short ceremony at Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father accepted the diplomatic credentials of Rrok Logu, the new Albanian envoy. The Pontiff said that Albania "could offer a particular contribution" to the unification of Europe.

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    The Pope paid tribute to the people of Albania, whose striving "toward truth and freedom was never cancelled, not even by the long and weighty Communist dictatorship." That same spirit, he said, should help Albania today to support efforts to create a European culture that reflects the truth about human nature.

    Speaking about the role of the Church in Albanian society, the Pope mentioned the example set by Blessed Mother Teresa, an Albanian who "proclaimed to all that God is love and loves all men, especially the poor and the abandoned." The Church, Pope Benedict said, "wishes to testify to that love with her educational and social work," which served not only Catholics but the entire society.

    Albania is tied to the European Union by a pact arranged in 2000, providing for EU assistance to the country to help ensure stability in the Balkans. However, the question of Albania's membership in the European Union has not yet been settled.

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