Memorie.al publishes some unknown archival documents extracted from the fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP, which refers to a visit of Enver Hoxha in the district of Shkodra on September 15, 1949, where he gave a speech in front of the people of that district and the highlands of Shkodra, talking about issues of religious beliefs, mainly that of the district, as he had previously called in his office to the Prime Minister in Tirana, Bishop of Shkodra, Monsignor Thaçi and that of Durrës, Vincens Prenushin, and all the conversations he had with him about the Catholic clergy and their dependence on the Vatican. All the accusations of Enver Hoxha against the Catholic Clergy of Shkodra that he accused as “enemies and traitors” closely related to the Vatican, as well as the accusations against the two leaders of the Muslim faith of Shkodra, Sali Myftija and Hafiz Ali Tari.
“But the high Catholic clergy of Shkodra continued on its hostile path. Charged by the government, I have personally called the former archbishop of Shkodra, Mr. Thaçi, to Tirana, and I have clearly explained the views of our government on all faiths in Albania. This gentleman, rubbing his hands, as usual, found these views right and promised that the Catholic Church would work on this path. But these were just hypocrisy to put us to sleep. He and some of his comrades, as well as the Vatican’s agent, Mr. Negris, the all-powerful and savage dictator of the Catholic Church in Albania, secretly plotted against the people and his regime. The archbishop and his associate, Negris, recalled that we had fallen into a deep sleep. But no, we were aware of all their criminal activity against the people, but we were patient, in order to avoid them from this wrong path. For the second time in a row, I have called the former bishop of Durrës, Mr. Vinçenc Prendushi, to whom I have again presented with understanding the views of the government, I have advised him and I have shown him the right and patriotic way. This gentleman, on both occasions, also rubbing his hands, as usual, said that he agreed with the views of the government and that with his personality he would intervene so that the issues would go in the right direction. But these were only hypocrisy, because the advice and warnings of our government, from one ear, came in, from the other ear came out, as the people say. They had turned the church altars into weapons depots and religious seminaries and churches into conspiratorial nurseries. This is stated, among other things, in an archival document extracted from the fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP, which refers to a visit of Enver Hoxha in the Shkodra district on September 16, 1949, where he delivered a speech. before the people of that district speaking eloquently on matters of religious beliefs. Among other things, in his speech, Enver Hoxha spoke about the talks he had with the Bishops of Shkodra and Durrës, Monsignor Thaçi, and Vincens Prenushi, as well as his accusations against the two senior Muslim clerics of Shkodra, Sali Myftija, and Hafiz Ali Tari. For more information, we know the document in question that memorie.al publishes in full.
Enver Hoxha’s accusations against the Catholic and Muslim clergy of Shkodra
“THE REACTIONAL CLERICS HAVE RETURNED THE CHURCHS TO DEPO ARMËS AND EVERY AGENTS AND SPIES”
(From the speech in front of the people of the city, and the highlands of Shkodra)
September 15, 1949
I would now like to say a few words about religious beliefs and the Catholic Church of Shkodra. The position of the Government of the People’s Republic has always been and will always be fair and equal for all faiths that exist in Albania. This attitude of our government reflects the desires and feelings of the people, including the part that believes in God. The internal reaction and some high Catholic and Muslim clerics of Shkodra have always been connected with the external enemies of our people, with foreign violators and anti-popular regimes, and have been put at their service. These have been the tools of the Turks, the Austro-Hungarians, the Italian fascists, the Vatican, the German Nazis, and the aggressive imperialism of the American-British warlords. Some high-ranking Catholic clerics in Shkodra have never felt Albanian, but as citizens of the Vatican and its agents in Albania. The Vatican, throughout its centuries-old history, under the guise of religion, has represented the blackest reaction and has been the most savage ruler of the people.
He defended darkness, he ruled and represented the Middle Ages, he was the Inquisition, he was the protector of despots, kings, Italian fascism, German Nazism, he is still today the tool of American imperialism, he is one of the world’s greatest capitalist speculators. and a sworn enemy of the independence and freedom of our homeland and people. The black spider of the Vatican had woven its fabric in a corner of Albania, right here in Shkodra. Zog’s regime had set free the Vatican people who had established a separate kingdom in the so-called Ahmet Zog satrap kingdom. These high Catholic clergy of Shkodra were in full agreement with the Zog regime, because they had the same enemy that they had to fight, the Albanian people. Popular Catholic clergy, who have loved the people and served them, such as Dom Ndre Mjeda, etc., have been despised, condemned and persecuted by the Vatican and its agents.
The “princes” of the Catholic Church in Albania, under the guise of religion, through blackmail, threats to God and scandals, kept under pressure the popular priests and believers, who suffered under the double regime of ecclesiastical and Zogollian terror. Zogu and these senior clergymen of the Catholic Church prepared for the arrival of fascism in Albania. When Albania suffering under the hooves of bloody fascism and the people fighting to be liberated, these leading Catholic clerics took the banner of anti-Albanianism and were very active in the fight against the Albanian people. They took important political positions under fascism and with the greatest ferocity threw themselves into the war against the people. Mussolini’s embarrassing defeat disappointed these gentlemen with the veladon. But they did not lose hope and were placed under Hitler’s direct service, became executioners and left nothing to be done against our people, until the revolutionary storm washed away and shattered our glorious National Liberation War. The great popular revolution won.
For centuries, our oppressed, bloodthirsty, and enslaved people dreamed of a great justice, which they themselves achieved through bloody wars. Our people showed their high qualities, both during the war and after the liberation. As much as he was heroic and invincible in war, so prudent, cold-blooded and just, fierce and ruthless to his sworn enemies he was shown after liberation. To the traitors of the people he gave the punishment they deserved. Our glorious Communist Party, which raised the people in the struggle for liberation, called on them to take up arms without distinction of religion in order to save the homeland. And the people responded with the greatest confidence to the Party’s call. Thousands upon thousands of people, regardless of whether they were Muslims, Orthodox, Catholics, or Bektashis, took up arms. Among them were clergymen of various faiths, even leaders of these faiths. Some of the churches, mosques, tekkes, and monasteries became shelters for freedom fighters, while some senior Catholic clerics sided with the barricade and fought against the people, against patriotic Catholic believers and prominent fighters.
The Government of our Republic, since the first days of its life, aiming at the sound unity of our people, has given a fair solution to the various faiths in Albania. She has not allowed herself to be challenged by the feelings of trust that a part of people have. But every individual, civil or religious entity, must obey and obey the laws of the state established by the people, so anyone who violates them is against the people and, without exception, those who violate the law. , are punished. We have been and will be against all those reactionary clerics of any faith, whether under the guise of religion, deceive the believers, defend the reaction and the darkness, fight the people and conspire against the Republic. With these traitorous elements, the people and their government are at war and will be at war until they are completely eradicated. We have never confused clerics with enemies and traitors with believers, as do the enemies of the people who, in order to achieve their dark goals, seek to confuse these two things. Some high-ranking Catholic clergy of Shkodra have shamelessly and criminally deceived the believers regarding the good intentions of the Government of the Republic, in order to anger the people of the city and the highlands of your district with their power. This is how the issues have stood, so let the people judge for themselves, how fair and patient our government’s attitude towards these senior Catholic clergymen of Shkodra has been.
After the liberation, the Albanian people heroically set to work to build their ruined homeland. However, the high Catholic clergy of Shkodra continued on their hostile path. Charged by the government, I have personally called the former archbishop of Shkodra, Mr. Thaçi, to Tirana, and I have clearly explained the views of our government on all faiths in Albania. This gentleman, rubbing his hands as usual, found these views right and promised that the Catholic Church would work on this path. But these were just hypocrisy to put us to sleep. He and some of his comrades, as well as the Vatican’s agent, Mr. Negris, the all-powerful and savage dictator of the Catholic Church in Albania, secretly plotted against the people and his regime. The archbishop and his associate, Negris, recalled that we had fallen into a deep sleep. But no, we were aware of all their criminal activity against the people, but we were patient, in order to avoid them from this wrong path.
For the second time in a row, I have called the former bishop of Durrës, Mr. Vinçenc Prendushi, to whom I have again presented with understanding the views of the government, I have advised him and I have shown him the right and patriotic way. This gentleman, on both occasions, also rubbing his hands, as usual, said that he agreed with the views of the government and that with his personality he would intervene so that the issues would go in the right direction. But these were only hypocrisy, because the advice and warnings of our government, from one ear came in, from the other ear came out, as the people say. The church altars they had turned into weapons depots and religious seminaries and churches into conspiratorial nurseries. The government got out of debt, but they filled the cup; these gentlemen continued to organize conspiracies and deceive believers by distorting the good intentions of our government. Their entire criminal conspiracy was discovered, which proved that they were in the service of the enemy of the Albanian people, the Vatican, and in relation to the internal and external reaction. They wanted to bury our people, but they fell inside.
The just measures taken by the people’s justice were approved by all the people, approved by the patriotic Catholic believers, approved by the popular clergy and Catholic patriots. But the punishing guilt of these high-ranking clerics can in no way be blamed on the innocent, those who have not linked their faith and destiny to some of the enemy’s clerical enemies who have received the punishment they deserve. The Government of the Republic, even after these events, has not changed its right attitude towards Catholic believers. The Catholic believers of Shkodra and the highlands want to follow the right path of the people. This is what our government wants. The Catholic part of the people of Shkodra and the highlands and their popular power want the issue of trust to no longer to be a divisive problem. We are convinced that this will be realized. Our government will in no way allow the Vatican to intervene as it has interfered in the internal affairs of the Catholic Church of Albania, making this a spy nursery to the detriment of our homeland. Our state cannot allow the Constitution of the Republic and the laws in force to be violated, which must be respected equally by all religious entities.
But on the path of betrayal against the people there were not only a few high clergy of the Catholic Church. There have been such traitors with stamps, war criminals and savage enemies of the Albanian people even in the ranks of even at the head of the Muslim Clergy of Shkodra, such as war criminals, Sali Myftija and Hafez Ali Tarja, who were among the leaders of the reaction Shkodra and together with Sulçe Begun, Maliq Bushati and other traitors like Riza Dani, who after the liberation of the country betrayed the cause of the people, have tried to bury the Albanian people and always keep them alive, in the interest of the country’s violators ours, the rift between the Muslims and the Catholics of Shkodra. These traitors and quislings, who have always sold the homeland and the honor of Albania, have welcomed Italian and German fascism with cheers and have put themselves in their full service, they have bled the people, but this one crushed them. The people of Shkodra cannot forget the quarrels and divisions created by senior clerics, Catholics and Muslims, who, united with the feudal lords of the Shkodra district, encouraged Catholic and Muslim believers to kill each other for the interests of these bloodthirsty people.
The popular revolution opened the eyes of the people. Catholics and Muslims are brothers, sons of the mother Albania, they are patriots, nothing can separate them, on the contrary, everything unites them. There can be no religious division in our People’s Republic, and the facts prove it. All the people of Shkodra and the highlands, be it Catholic, Muslim or Orthodox, are united as one body. So it was during the war, so it is today in the time of the reconstruction of the homeland. All our people, regardless of religion, fought resolutely for the liberation of the homeland, it also fights today with heroism for the protection and new construction of the homeland. Young people, men, women, old people are sweating for the construction of the new Albania. Thousands upon thousands of women and men from the highlands and the city are taking various actions to realize the state plan and have become an example of heroism and self-denial. The people of the highlands, men of faith and prudence, until yesterday kept in the dark by the feudal lords, by the bayraktars, and by the reactionary clerics, are today learning with great thirst and advancing. There can be no force in the world to stop these people from moving towards light and progress. Social conditions have now changed, and those who do not take them into account and do not value them properly will err because the old times are gone forever and never return.
So, before the people of Shkodra, the highlands, and all of Albania, let us work resolutely to strengthen and flourish our beloved, democratic, popular Albania! Long live the Albanian people! Long live the heroic people of Shkodra and the highlands! Long live our Labor Party, the glorious leader of our people! Long live the Democratic Front! Long live our People’s Democratic Republic! Long live our glorious People’s Army, the vigilant defender of our homeland, and the victories of the people!/Memorie.al