On 14 February Cardinal Kurt Koch presented the laudatio at the conferral ceremony of the Klaus Hemmerle Prize for 2020, awarded to His Beatitude Metropolitan Anastas, Archbishop of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania, Head of the Orthodox Church of Albania. The event took place in the Cathedral of Aachen and recognized the outstanding commitment of Archbishop Anastas to mutual understanding and reconciliation among the Christian churches, as well as to Muslim–Christian dialogue. Concluding his address, Cardinal Koch reflected on the importance of bringing the “beauty of the Christian faith to our eyes anew and [on the] courage to testify. Because as Christians we have no greater and no more beautiful mission than to testify to the presence of the living God in the secularized and increasingly secularized societies of Europe, the presence of the heavenly Father who sent his Son into the world and who calls us in the Holy Spirit into this mission and accompanies us with his love, also with the help of credible witnesses of faith ... such as Archbishop Anastas".
The honour is awarded every two years by the Focolare Movement to eminent figures working in communities with different cultural and religious traditions. The prize was established in honour of Archbishop Klaus Hemmerle, Bishop of Aachen from 1975 to 1994, and a pioneering leader in Christian unity.
Photos © M. Felder (Presse-Bilderpool)