Saturday, September 3, 2016

Visa for a saint

published on Fox News Opinion

I was a minister-counsellor for cultural affairs in the embassy at the time. It was during a period when the weakened communist government of Albania was allowing breezes of pluralism to blow through the bureaucracy.
It had taken Mother Teresa two decades and an intense personal tragedy to get that permission. Her long ordeal started in late 1960s when her mother Drane and sister Age were living in Tirana, the Albanian capital. Her mother was ailing. Mother Teresa wanted to see her before she died.
She used a variety of powerful friends, from presidents to foreign ministers, to plead with Enver Hoxha’s insular communist regime to grant her mother a 30-day visa and permission to leave the country. -- The hope was that the elderly woman would be able to visit her daughter in Rome and enter a hospital.