Addis Ababa, August 18,2012: Roman Pope Benedict XVI sent a message of condolence to the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church (EOC) upon hearing of the passing of Patriarch of the Church, Abune Paulos.
In his message, the Pope expressed his condolences to the clergy and faithful of the EOC.
Pope Benedict XVI also lauded commitment of the Patriarch to promoting greater unity through dialogue and cooperation between the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.
The Patriarch had received the Nansen Medal for Africa by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and was also honored by the Vision for Generations for his leadership in the campaign to address HIV and AIDS in Ethiopia.
Abune Paulos, who is the fifth Patriarch of EOC, passed away at the age of 76 last Wednesday after following medical treatment in the country.
He had been Patriarch of the EOC since 1992 and also served as a president of the World Council of Churches.
Abune Paulos was born in Adwa, Tigray on 3 November 1935. His birth name was Gebremedhin Woldeyohannes.
The Patriarch studied at the Theological College of the Holy Trinity in Addis Ababa.
Later he was sent to study at the St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary and later undertook doctoral degree at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Funeral of Patriarch Abune Paulos will be held at the Church of the Holy Trinity here next Thursday.
Ethiopian News Agency (E N A)