To the venerable Members of the Holy Synod of the Church of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa: grace and peace be upon you from the Lord of all life.
The loss of a beloved and revered Patriarch is more than the demise of a religious and public figure; it is the deprivation of a spiritual and fatherly leader. Therefore, it is with profound sorrow and personal regret that we learned of the falling asleep of your distinguished father and erudite shepherd, His Beatitude Abuna Paulos.
We recall with special affection and nostalgia our official, fraternal visits to your historic church and ancient land under his spiritual direction, particularly on the occasion of the Ethiopian Jubilee when he organized the millennium summit of 2007, as well as our numerous exchanges and gracious communications, which will forever indelibly mark our memory. The late Patriarch Paulos recognized and promoted the significance of international cooperation, interfaith understanding, and inter-Christian dialogue.
In everything that he envisioned and achieved, Abuna Paulos’ ministry and action acknowledged – like the first Ethiopian to receive the Gospel message – that “he believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God.” (Acts 8.37) It is our fervent prayer and hope that – with the guidance of their hierarchy and clergy – the pious and dedicated faithful of Ethiopia will maintain his memory alive by preserving alight the bright torch of faith that he bore so admirably, tirelessly and devotedly for the progress of his country, the promotion of democracy and the eradication of poverty.
May God grant rest to the soul of his faithful servant and our cherished brother, Abuna Paulos, while also comforting and strengthening the hearts of his loyal children. Memory eternal!
At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on August 17, 2012
and Ecumenical Patriarch
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