VATICAN CITY, DEC. 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II sent a message of sympathy following the death of Cardinal Paulos Tzadua, archbishop emeritus of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who died in the Vatican on Thursday. He was 82.
Paulos Tzadua was born in the Eritrean town of Addifini on Aug. 25, 1921. After a short stay in Gaggiret, as a member of the student body of the Capuchin priests, he entered the seminary of Cheren.
Ordained a priest in 1944, he carried out pastoral tasks in Eritrea and Ethiopia until he received a scholarship to study at the Catholic University of Milan, where he obtained a doctorate in jurisprudence.
After his return to his country, he was elected secretary-general of the Eritrean episcopal conference, a post he held along with pastoral service to university students.
In 1973 he was named auxiliary bishop of Addis Ababa. Two years later, he was elected president of the Ethiopian episcopal conference, a post he held until 1999. Pope Paul VI named him archbishop of Addis Ababa in 1977, and John Paul II made him a cardinal on May 25, 1984.
In 1994 Cardinal Tzadua was delegate president of the special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of Africa.
With his death, the Church now has 192 cardinals, including 132 electors under age 80 who could vote in a conclave.
In his message of sympathy, John Paul II said he would offer “fervent prayers to God so that he will grant eternal rest to this faithful pastor.”