His Grace also provided documentation, yet again, of the systematic "torching and destruction of 150 holy shrines (in Kosovo and Metohija), several dating back to the Middle Ages, of irreplaceable value," which fact has been corroborated by UNESCO, as well as "the eradication of cemeteries where almost all crosses have been obliterated." Here is a God-sent opportunity for the Holy See to put some teeth into its talk about Catholic-Orthodox rapprochement.Michael Redmond Princeton, New Jersey Schwartz replies: I visit all the Albanian lands frequently and speak and read Serbian and Albanian.
If there is any controversy involving Orthodox Christians in Albania, it has to do with the scandalous fact that the head of the Albanian Orthodox Church, Anastasios Yannoulatos, is an ethnic Greek and citizen of Greece, rather than an Albanian.
While the Albanian Communist regime repressed the Orthodox church, ethnic Greeks and Vlachs of Orthodox background were favored cadres in the system of dictator Enver Hoxha.
Many of them were former members of the so-called Democratic Army of Greece, a Communist terror force, which retreated into Albania.
The claim that Kosovo was "liberated from Christianity" is a despicable distortion.
The Albanian Catholic church maintains its houses of worship in every major Kosovo town. The Serbian Orthodox Church is protected by NATO troops.
While numerous Serbs fled Kosovo after their brutal terror over Kosovar Albanians ended, the figure of 200,000 is exaggerated; Serbia did not and does not have the capacity to absorb 200,000 Serbian refugees from Kosovo.
It is undeniable that some Serbian Orthodox churches have been vandalized or demolished in Kosovo.
In "Broken Promises" (April), Stephen Schwartz bears eloquent witness to the bloody persecution that Albania's Catholics endured under that nation's Communist dictatorship.
One regrets that Schwartz chose to limit his eloquence to events past and his Christian solidarity to Roman Catholics. Congressional Task Force for Human Rights on March 15, His Grace Teodosije, auxiliary bishop of Lipljan and vice-chairman for Kosovo and Metohija of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, spoke of the plight of the 200,000 Serbian Christians who have fled their homes in the face of Kosovar Albanian violence and of the dismal prospects of the remaining Kosovar Serbs for anything resembling a normal life.