The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) awarded the honorary medal “Golden Aristotle" to the Archbishop of Tirana, Durres,and All Albania Anastasios, for his missionary, charitable and social work, which, as mentioned by the Rector Prof. Pericles Mitkas during the award ceremony, is indeed titanic.
The Archbishop, with persistence, vision and inexhaustible love, succeeded in implementing an inspirational work for combating poverty and destitution in extremely poor areas of the world and particularly in Africa, while in Albania he literally set up from scratch more than 400 parishes, founded a Hieratical School and church lyceums as well as youth centers. Without any discrimination to religion and taking into consideration as a sole prerequisite the real human need, the Archbishop took care of the distribution of innumerable tons of food, medicines,and clothing, while he developed programs regarding health, social welfare, rural development, culture and ecology, in addition to his enlightened educational programs.
The "Golden Aristotle" is awarded by the AUTH to personalities with a recognized contribution to humanity and the Hellenism. Among them are included the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Constantine Stephanopoulos and Emmanuel Kriaras. During his speech with subject "Religious Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence", the Archbishop stressed the need to foster a healthy religious conscience as the necessary stable basis for peaceful coexistence, because violence in the name of religion is a crime against religion itself.