Prishtina, September 05 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, has participated today at the ceremony of the consecration of the St. Teresa Cathedral.
Below you will find the full speech of President Thaçi on this occasion:
Your Eminence, Cardinal Troshani, special envoy of Pope Francis,
Your Excellency, Monsignor Julius Janush,
Monsignor Dodë Gjergji,
Honorable Prime Minister,
Honorable Ambassadors and officials,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, let me express my most sincere congratulations for this Mass of the consecration of the Mother Teresa Cathedral.
This cathedral is the house of God, but is also the house of the citizens of Kosovo.
We jointly put the cornerstone and inaugurated the Cathedral, and today we are together at the consecration.
Our folk tradition has never made separations between the church, the mosque, the monastery or the teqe.
For centuries, Muslims and Catholics have visited famous teqes to find healing for sicknesses or concerns, and for entire centuries Muslims and Christians have gone to the church to find answers to their concerns.
I wish that this cathedral will stand as a pillar of the citizens of Prishtina and Kosovo forever, reminding our children and all generations to come who Saint Teresa was.
The story of Saint Teresa of Prizren, Skopje, Letnica and Calcutta is the most important story of our history.
Imagine a woman, born in the Balkans, in the vortex of the fractures of eras, when it was not known which empire will take Kosovo by force – which found a divine inspiration.
She found inspiration on this land, with these people, in this under heaven.
Her inspiration was to withstand all the difficulties and focus on the concerns of humanity.
Not only humanity in the global aspect, but humanity that everyone has in themselves. Our Saint Teresa said: “If we judge people, we do not have time to love them.”
And in her heart she found love for the whole world.
So, a woman of this under heaven, a girl, a sister and a MOTHER of the Albanian land, had a big heart for the whole world.
Your Eminence, Cardinal Troshani – you yourself have experienced evil, the sins of people and have survived, and here you are today with your sisters and brothers in Kosovo to celebrate the consecration of the Saint Teresa Cathedral.
I say that we celebrate because this blessed day today and this consecration is a celebration of Mother Teresa’s love.
It is a remembrance for all of us that love always wins, that the one who is violated, the one who is suffering will always find light, love and peace.
I wish for this house to be a lantern of light and love for each other
I invite you, Your Eminence Cardinal Troshani that this love that we feel today to share with the Holy Father Pope Francis as well.
To narrate about the tolerance we have, which is the pillar of our values.
To narrate about the people of Kosovo who has rejected hatred, who has rejected the lie to be incapable and incompetent.
We have been violated for centuries but preserved our core, carried over through centuries and generations with priests and imams who did not look at the church and mosque but looked at the people as a source of their divine inspiration.
Saint Ignatius, of the order of the Jesuits, from where the Holy Father comes, has left the saying that: “Love is proven by deeds and not by words.”
Saint Teresa has confirmed this saying with her deeds of care for the entire humanity.
Our people have proven this saying with the sublime deed, the war for freedom and justice.
Our war was not a war of territory but a battle to be equal, a battle for existence, and to be first of all humans, just as God intended humans.
I am glad that during this month I will have the opportunity to confess to Pope Francis in a meeting about the pledges and achievements of the people of Kosovo, that dialogue, real tolerance and interethnic reconciliation, normalization and peace between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia is prevailing.
This cathedral was erected with the sweat of the people, the diaspora, the Albanian believers, but also of good will people from all over the world, Catholics, Muslims and Jews – from congressmen from distant America to the citizens who have given the last penny to this House of God.
This cathedral is not only a religious temple but also a confession of our history.
On this occasion let me reiterate the fact that we are proud of the fact that two great figures came from our people, George Castriot Skanderbeg and Mother Teresa.
There is no possible white or black cloth that can cover the national and civilizational grandeur of George Castriot.
The Athlete of Christianity.
I do not have to say more words than to congratulate you:
God Bless The Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa.
God Bless the people who raised this great house of love,
God bless Kosovo.