"Our relations with the Islamic community are better than with the nationalistic Orthodox church," he said, noting that the Catholic Church hopes to play a mediating role between Muslims and Orthodox.
Not going to happen, in particular because of the Vatican's nationalistic Croatian church.
"My father is Muslim and his parents, going back, maintain a combination of Muslim and Christian practices. They are known as 'crypto-Catholics' because, although the men go to the mosque on Fridays, the family follows Christian principles at home. Children are baptized at home. Sunday is considered holy. My paternal grandparents lit candles for Christian holy days," said St. Anthony's parishioner Mihane Nartile Salihu.
"In the morning, my father and his family say prayers in Arabic, but at night, they say the Our Father and Hail Mary in Albanian," Salihu said. "Like Christians, the whole family eats together ... while in strict Muslim homes, men and women eat separately."
"This double identity developed under Ottoman rule because as a Christian you suffered ostracism and higher taxes, but calling yourself a Muslim had a lot of advantages, so many people declared themselves to tax collectors as Muslims but kept Catholic tradition at home," she said.
The "crypto-Catholics" continued throughout the period of Albanian autonomy in Communist Yugoslavia. The Albanians became the dominant population in Kosovo only in the 19th century. The Serb population became to dwindle when the Great Serb Migration started in 1690, witht the Serbs, who had just revolted from the Ottomans, retreating with the Austrians back to Habsburg lands (the Krajina, Hungary, etc.).
Odd that they would pray in Albanian, as the Vatican until the 1960s prayed in Latin.