Catholic World News

Pope meets with tortured Albanian priest

April 21, 2016

Following his April 20 general audience, Pope Francis kissed the hands of Father Ernest Simoni, a priest who was imprisoned by Albania’s brutal communist regime from 1963 to 1990.

Emphasizing that he forgave his captors, Father Simoni, whom Pope Francis previously embraced during his 2014 apostolic journey to Albania, endured torture and forced labor in mines and sewers. During his captivity, he offered Mass from memory in Latin.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 21, 2016 10:12 AM ET USA

    No small feat--to recite the Mass from memory in its most extensive form, the pre-Vatican II liturgy. Prayer upon prayer upon prayer recounting the history of revealed religion from the beginning up through the life of St. John the Apostle, and during the most formative phase of Church development--the age of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. How can this faithful priest be commended enough?