From the Archdiocese of Detroit, Regarding Remarks by Fr. Anton Kcira, the Albanian Community, and the Relationship Between Catholic Christians and Muslims

By Archdiocese Of Detroit, PRNE
Friday, March 12, 2010

DETROIT, March 13, 2010 - Out of deep concern over the conflict and confusion created in Catholic
and Muslim communities over remarks delivered in the Detroit archdiocese by
Fr. Anton Kcira of St. Paul Albanian Parish in Rochester Hills, Michigan,
Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron has asked the priest for a written statement.
The archbishop has agreed to assist in distribution of Fr. Kcira's statement
on his behalf.

An Open Letter from Fr. Anton Kcira to the Albanian Community in Metro
Detroit and beyond:

In the past few weeks, there has been tremendous controversy over
videotaped remarks I delivered at my parish in May of 2007. While the
majority of the back-and-forth over this has been transacted on the Internet
and in the media, I wanted to take this opportunity to put in writing my
sentiments regarding this matter.

When I delivered those remarks three years ago, I was angry, very angry,
about the lack of response in the Albanian and Kosovar communities against
the criminals who planned to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
The USA and NATO have done so much for our nation and our peoples over the
years, and by not condemning the Albanian criminals we appeared ungrateful.

In expressing my anger, I used what an English teacher would call
hyperbole — an exaggeration used for effect — to make my point. In doing
so, I used some wrong words, cited some bad examples, and described massacre
victims with provocative names. That wasn't right. I am deeply sorry for
using those words, and for the hurt my words have caused. That was my anger
talking, not my heart.

In Kosovo and here in Detroit, I have been grateful and proud of my
participation in the collaborative efforts between and among Albanians of all
religions. We share a common love for our homeland, our independence. I
respect people of the Muslim faith, and see the relationship between Catholic
Christians and Muslims as one based on a common pursuit of peace and good
will. I pray that what I said will not, in any way, hurt or compromise the
valuable relationship between the two religions. And, I trust a regrettable
outburst of anger will not diminish all of the projects our faith communities
have supported and worked on together over the years, or damage our
relationships going forward.

May God Bless Us All,

Rev. Anton Kcira

St. Paul Albanian Roman Catholic Church

Rochester Hills, Michigan

For an Albanian translation of this letter, go to

Ned McGrath, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Detroit, +1-313-237-5943, proffice at

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