Pope Francis visited Albania in September. The Pope said that Albania is an “inspiring example” of Christian-Muslim coexistence, and denounced how extremists are “perverting” religion to justify violence.
“The climate of respect and mutual trust between Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims is a precious gift to the country,” the pope said. “This is especially the case in these times in which authentic religious spirit is being perverted by extremist groups, and where religious differences are being distorted and instrumentalized.”
Pope Francis’ visit to Albania, a majority Muslim nation, is his first to a European country. It comes as the Islamic State is killing religious minorities in areas it controls. Albania is seeking EU membership.
Pope Francis desires to take the Catholic Church to the “periphery.” The core nations of Europe are already under the Vatican’s influence. So, for all the world to wonder after the beast, the Vatican must now begin to reach the lesser nations that are not yet aligned.