Statement given by HIH Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, Chairman of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, on the passing away of His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
During the past few weeks, the Ethiopian Crown Council had joined Roman Catholics, Christians of all denominations, and, indeed, all mankind throughout the world in mourning the passing away of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. His passing is an immeasurable loss to all humanity who had amply demonstrated their great admiration, high respect and deep love during the period of mourning and at His funeral.
As we reflect on our great loss, we need to draw strength form the enlightenment, courage and true joy that His Holiness shared with all of us without drawing any boundary of denomination, faith or philosophy. During his Papacy, His Holiness demonstrated true courage and humility when he asked for forgiveness as he believed that this is the basis for true reconciliation and lasting peace. He readily granted forgiveness when he sat face to face with the man who tried to kill him and gave him absolution. He traveled throughout the world to promote a truly inclusive society, to bring attention to the case of those who have been marginalized, and acted as the voice of the voiceless.
We Ethiopians will remember His Holiness particularly for his tireless campaign to alleviate poverty and to promote a more just and compassionate world. Ethiopian Christians, Muslims and Jews who have peacefully lived together for many centuries fully appreciate the importance of His Holiness’s message of coexistence. In this most challenging period of world history, His Holiness Pope John Paul II showed us the pathway from hate to love, from division to unity, from war to peace, and, indeed, from darkness to light. His Holiness Pope John Paul II will truly be missed.
Upon the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the Ethiopian Crown Council wishes to extend its warm greetings and best wishes to the new Pope. We pray that God, in His infinite wisdom, will guide Pope Benedict XVI as he continues to carry forward God’s work.
May Pope John Paul II rest in Peace, and may Almighty God bless and guide Pope Benedict XVI.