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Tuesday, February 7, 2006


VATICAN CITY, 7 FEB 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, has sent the following telegram of condolences, on behalf of the Holy Father, to Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Apostolic Nuncio in Burundi, regarding the assassination of Fr. Elie Koma, S.J., on Saturday, February 4th.

  "Upon learning about the tragic death of Fr. Elie Koma, S.J., the Holy Father asked me to express to all the members of his family and to his brother Jesuits his profound sorrow, offering a fervent prayer to the Lord of Life for the dead and for all of those in mourning. The Pope gives thanks for all the work accomplished by Fr. Koma in the service of the spiritual growth of those who have benefited from his apostolate. His Holiness also exhorts those who continue committing acts of violence to definitively renounce such works of death, so that the inhabitants of this country may live in peace and security. Trusting in the maternal solicitude of Mary for those coming together in faith for the funeral, the Holy Father sends you, as a sign of consolation, a special apostolic blessing, so that God may guard you in peace and in hope."

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