Papal nuncio to Ivory Coast killed in car accident
Archbishop Ambrose Madtha. CNA file photo.
Archbishop Ambrose Madtha. CNA file photo.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Archbishop Ambrose Madtha, the papal nuncio to the Ivory Coast, died on Saturday evening in a serious car accident on his way to an ordination in the West African country.

President Alassane Ouattara read a statement on national television expressing his “deep regret” at the nuncio’s death. He offered his condolences to the Catholic Church and to the archbishop’s family, Agence France Presse reports.

The Dec. 8 accident took place in the western town of Biankouma, according to Vatican Radio. The car collided with another vehicle, killing the nuncio and the car’s driver and injuring the nuncio’s secretary and a religious sister.

The Indian-born Archbishop Madtha, 57, was from Belthangady near Mangalore in the Indian state of Karnataka. He had served as the papal representative to the country since 2008. He had worked for peace between opposing sides in Ivory Coast’s political crisis from 2010-2011, when President Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after his rival President Ouattara won the 2010 elections.

The crisis turned violent and Gbagbo barricaded himself in the Presidential Residence. With the backing of French forces, supporters of Ouattara assaulted the residence until French special forces arrested the previous president.

The archbishop did not leave the nunciature even though the fighting was less than a quarter mile away, Fides reports.

The country is still recovering from the political conflict. Gbagbo is awaiting trial in the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity.

The nuncio had intended to celebrate Mass in the town of Duékoué on the Liberian border.

The town was the site of a massacre of hundreds of people during the political crisis. Although the chaos of the time makes it impossible to determine who was responsible for the mass killings, the United Nations said that both sides committed atrocities.

Violence continued in 2012, when several people were killed in an assault on a refugee camp near Duékoué.

Archbishop Madtha had personally promised to aid refugees at a Catholic parish in the area, Fides reports.

Tags: Deceased

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 25, 2015

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 1:14-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 1:14-20