His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, appears to have suffered a heart attack yesterday and was admitted to Balcha Hospital in Addis Ababa, where he is reported to have died this morning (16 August), aged 76. He had served as Patriarch since 1992.
Abune Paulos was in Cairo in March for the funeral of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, where he delivered a dignified eulogy. Only recently, on 16 July, he met with President Mohamed Mursi during the African Union (AU) leaders’ meeting in Addis Ababa.
Abba Seraphim announced that he had sent condolences to His Eminence Archbishop Antonios, the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Great Britain, assuring him of the prayers of the British Orthodox clergy and faithful in their loss.
INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES REPORT
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 17 to 21, 2012
The ninth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from January 17 to 21, 2012. The meeting was hosted by His Holiness Abuna Paulos I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It was chaired jointly by His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. No representative of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church was able to attend.
The two delegations met separately on the morning of January 17. In the afternoon, the Catholic members attended a prayer service with the local Catholic hierarchy, clergy, religious and faithful, at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady. They were greeted with an address by Abune Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel, CM, Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia. Cardinal Koch was also invited to speak to the assembly. That same evening, all the members of the commission accepted a gracious invitation from His Excellency Archbishop George Panikulam, Apostolic Nuncio in Ethiopia, to attend a friendship dinner at the Apostolic Nunciature in honor of His Holiness Patriarch Paulos, who also attended the meal.
The half yearly meeting of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum took place at the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre at Stevenage on 10 January under the co-chairmanship of His Grace Bishop Angaelos and The Right Rev’d Dr. Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe. Among other bishops attending were Their Eminences Metropolitan Seraphim (British Orthodox Church) and Archbishop Mar Athanasios (Syrian Orthodox Church) representing the Oriental Orthodox Churches and The Right Rev’d Andrew Proud, Bishop Suffragan of Reading representing the Anglican Church.
As usual the meeting was conducted in a positive spirit of fellowship and practical ways of ensuring closer co-operation between the two traditions explored. Bishop Proud, having previously served as Area Bishop for Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, offered some insightful reflections on Orthodoxy and the Ethiopian Church, which were much appreciated by all present. In return Bishop Angaelos updated the forum on recent events in Egypt and Archbishop Athanasios did the same for Syria and Iraq.