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07 November, 2001
Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios, currently on an official visit to Greece, in a press conference on Tuesday night avoided taking a position on the dispute between the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
He said that the word "dispute" is not a desired one, stressing that "the Orthodox are a family which can have different ideas."
Anastasios expressed the hope that sober solutions would be found, noting that "we should not add fuel to the flames."
The archbishop, whose visit to Greece comes to an end on Friday, also answered reporters' questions regarding the holding of a religious conference under the auspices of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos in December, as well as to a similar one at the initiative of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos. Anastasios said that such types of conferences have taken place many times, without these, however, solving the problems.
He noted however that such conferences must take place in order to contribute in overcoming misunderstandings, which does not mean that the problems are solved.
Earlier in the day, during a meeting he had with Foreign Minister George Papandreou as well as at the dinner which the minister hosted in the archbishop's honor, discussion centered on the issue of the holding of an international conference of the various religious faiths.
Anastasios also referred to the situation prevailing in Albania, stating that already something unprecedented has occurred. He said the Orthodox Church helped the Muslims and these actions, which are in the spirit of Orthodoxy, are known to the Arab people.
The archbishop also spoke of the struggle for peace and justice and the development of peoples.
Source: Athens News Agency