THE ORTHODOX AUTOCEPHALOUS CHURCH OF ALBANIA
About a "novel" that insults Orthodox faithful and beyond, as well as the religious harmony in Albania
From time to time certain groups create various rumors, with falsehoods and fabrications, to insult figures in the Orthodox Church. Recently at the Book Fair in Tirana an offensive book was presented. This was the so-called “novel” entitled Devils in Cassocks by Sejdi Kondi through the Çamëria Publishing House. The book was being promoted at a stand run by a group with specific political leanings. This book is a rant, a sick fantasy and although it appears to be a novel, it immediately refers to two historical names, that of St. Cosmas of Kolkondas (Fier) and of Archbishop Anastasios. The cover shows an icon of the former and a photograph of the latter. It is more than clear that the book’s purpose is to strike at their authority and sully their name, by inventing imaginary dialogues and completely distorting their history. But foremost, this book offends all Orthodox faithful, both in Albania and worldwide who especially respect these figures.
Though strong protests have been organized both within and out of the country, we are obliged to add the Orthodox Church’s official protest directed at the writer, the publishing house, and the political circles which insist on promoting this book. The time has come for this unheard sacrilege to end and for this shameful book to be removed from circulation as it offends not only the Orthodox community, but also is a sour note in the religious harmony of which our country boasts and which is the basis for our peaceful co-existence.
The Orthodox Church will most certainly continue its creative efforts, radiating love and hope in all directions. St. John Chrysostom referred to the aforementioned phenomenon as early as the 4th century saying, “The Church is victorious when they fight it; it is strengthened when they plot against it; and it becomes brighter when they offend it... it is always blossoming.”
The Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania