* * *

Having learned with sadness of the death of His Holiness Abuna Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the members of the Holy Synod, and to the clergy, religious and faithful of the patriarchate.

I still recall with satisfaction his visits to the Vatican, and in particular the address he delivered to the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on October 6, 2009 and the important observations he made on that occasion.

I am also grateful for his commitment to promoting greater unity through dialogue and cooperation between the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.

As the Patriarchate mourns the death of His Holiness, I willingly offer an assurance of my prayers for the repose of his soul, and for all who mourn him.