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Papal condolences following death of Ethiopian leader

August 23, 2012

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, has conveyed Pope Benedict’s condolences following the death of Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s prime minister since 1995.

“His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI sends heartfelt condolences to Your Excellency, to the family of Mr. Zenawi and to all the people of Ethiopia,” Cardinal Bertone said in a telegram to Ethiopia’s president. “Recalling his many years of leadership, the Holy Father offers the assurance of prayers for his eternal rest.”

The nation of 90.9 million is 44% Ethiopian Orthodox, 34% Muslim, 14% Protestant, and 1% Catholic. Zenawi was a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, whose patriarch also recently died.


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