Pope Francis Praises Albania for Religious Harmony during 11-hour Visit

World | September 21, 2014, Sunday // 14:52
Bulgaria: Pope Francis Praises Albania for Religious Harmony during 11-hour Visit Pope Francis arrives at the Holy Mass in Tirana, Albania, 21 September 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Pope Francis arrived Sunday in Albania on an 11-hour visit.

This is the Pope's first European trip since he took office in 2013.

Addressing a crowd of thousands of Albanians, who had gathered in Tirana’s Mother Teresa square to attend an open air Mass, he praised the peaceful coexistence among followers of different religions in the country and denounced attempts to exploit religion to justify violence.

"Let no-one consider themselves to be the 'armour' of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression!" he said, according to reports of the BBC News.

The agenda of the visit of the pontiff also includes meetings with Albanian President Bujar Nishani and with religious leaders.

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Tags: Pope Francis, Albania, Tirana
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