On behalf of Archbishop Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and Archbishop Bernard Longley, Chairman of the Department for Dialogue and Unity, I wish to convey to the members of the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches in England and Wales, the most sincere condolences of all the members of the Bishops’ Conference on the death of His Holiness Patriarch Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
His Holiness is remembered with affection as a man of great learning and culture. He ministered in a most fruitful way to the needs of his own people in working for peace and reconciliation in his own country. He was a true bridge builder in a time of political and civil unrest. His Holiness also had a strong commitment to building up the spiritual bond of friendship and communion with the Catholic Church and other Christian communities mainly in his role as a president of the World Council of Churches.
We remember with respect and gratitude the great works of charity undertaken by His Holiness making the Ethiopian Orthodox Church the foremost instrument of goodwill in his country. He will be remembered especially for his work for refugees, women and young people and for those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
We pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will welcome into his kingdom of eternal peace and perpetual light this faithful shepherd of his flock, and grant consolation and comfort to those who mourn his passing.
Mgr Marcus Stock
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales