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Text of editorial entitled "Pope's spirit in Kosovo" published by the Kosovo Albanian newspaper Kosova Sot on 4 April
The man with the most votes in the country never missed an opportunity in the messages he sent out on the occasion of holidays, important meetings and different ceremonies to mention Pope John Paul II. It was not by accident that President Ibrahim Rugova has insisted on expressing gratitude for the Holy Father. By proving his positive will towards the pope, Rugova demonstrated our pro-Western orientation.
Despite the fact that we are a country with a majority Muslim population, the constant care and respect for the Holy Father has created a good tradition as part of our civilization. Pope John Paul II was one of the world's most influential people in the past century, especially his efforts to end the communist system in Eastern Europe, of which we are a part. The support for the figure of the Pope symbolizes the efforts and desires to be freed of dictatorship and to reach out for a developed civilization and a democratic culture.
Even though constantly attacked by anti-Albanian circles about Islam and terrorism, Kosova [Kosovo] has succeeded in proving it is an emancipated country that recognizes the world's values. The admiration for Pope John Paul II cannot be reduced to a protocol of messages; it is much bigger than that. In the most difficult days for our country, it was precisely the Christian world and its spiritual leader the Holy Father who supported us and rescued us. It was precisely this Western civilization that intervened and gave us new hope.
Pope John Paul II became an icon of the papacy because he introduced reforms and exercised huge influence all over the world. As the head of Christianity, the biggest religious community in the world, Pope John Paul II became a symbol of the efforts for establishment of a democratic order based on what is good, positive, beautiful and noble. By persistently fighting the evil that emerged in various forms around the globe, the Pope gained immense sympathy all over the world. Two days of mourning for Pope John Paul II in Kosova are a sign of recognition and respect for the loss of a great man of modern civilization.
Source: Kosova Sot, Pristina, in Albanian 4 Apr 05 p 1