“I have faced many kinds of illnesses in my life but this was an adventure in unknown territory,” said Archbishop Anastasios of Albania in an interview with Kathimerini on Sunday about his COVID-19 illness. “When I was put in the isolation capsule, I had the impression I was in a coffin. It was very hard for me,” stressed Archbishop Anastasios, “I look back to the basic principles of faith to deal with the difficulties in my life.”
Asked if the pandemic caused cracks between Church and science, the Archbishop stressed that it would be the biggest mistake to cause cracks. “Orthodoxy sees the development of science and technology with praise and thanksgiving to God, Who has given man the opportunity to seek the truth and to discover unknown aspects of Creation.”
He also noted that he did not believe there was a polarization between doctrine and public health. It is as he mentioned more a matter of interpretation of the doctrine and the specific conditions on this subject. “Empathy, contempt, demagoguery are not justified.”
Regarding the schism on the Ukrainian issue, the Archbishop of Albania said that one of the major shortcomings of recent times was that Orthodox unity had cracked and a vague wait is being extended. Initiatives in Ukraine after two years obviously did not yield the desired therapeutic effect. “Neither peace nor unity has been achieved for millions of Ukrainian Orthodox. Instead, controversy and division spread to other local Orthodox churches. In wasting time, the wound is getting worse,” stressed Archbishop Anastasios.