Citing Saint John Paul II's words during his 1993 visit to Albania, Pope Francis noted that religious freedom is "a gift" which guarantees "every other expression of freedom," safeguards "against all forms of totalitarianism, and contributes decisively to human fraternity." (Message to the Albanian People, 25 April 1993).
Religious intolerance, the Holy Father continued, "is a particularly insidious enemy, one which today is being witnessed in various areas around the world."
The living out of religious and ethical codes should always express "the mystery we intend to honor"; thus, "all those forms which present a distorted use of religion, must be firmly refuted as false since they are unworthy of God or humanity."
"Authentic religion is a source of peace and not of violence! No one must use the name of God to commit violence!"
"To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman."
Pope Francis added that religious freedom cannot only be secured through legislation, but through "an atmosphere of respect and cooperation that must be built with everyone's participation, even those who have no religious convictions."
In off-the-cuff remarks toward the end of his address, the Pope stressed the need for dialogue that is rooted in truth. Dialogue that is not rooted in truth, he said, "would be a ghost dialogue, a dialogue of air."
He added that we each have "our own personal identity". Walking together while pretending to have another identity, however, is relativism. "Everyone of us offers witness of ones own identity to the other"; in this way, "dialogue can move forward on theological questions." But, what is most important is walking together without betraying hope."
Pope Francis concluded his address by encouraging the good relations among religious communities in Albania. "Continue to be a sign for your country, and beyond, that good relations and fruitful cooperation are truly possible among men and women of different religions," he said. "And pray also for me. May God bless you all."