Pope expresses condolences for death of Kosovo president, prays for ‘abundant blessings’ on citizens

.- Following Saturday’s death of Ibrahim Rugova, president of Kosovo, Pope Benedict has sent a telegram--by way of Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano--to Bishop Zef Gashi S.D.B., apostolic administrator of Prizren, Srbija i Crna Gora, expressing his condolences and prayers for the people of that country.

"Having learned the sad news of the death of President Ibrahim Rugova,” Cardinal Sodano wrote, “the Supreme Pontiff charges Your Excellency to offer his heartfelt condolences for the bereavement that has struck the people and government of Kosovo.”

He said that “at the same time, [the Pope] gives assurances of his spiritual closeness at this moment of trial. In recalling the solid civic virtues that inspired the life of the dear departed, and his generous service to his fellow citizens, His Holiness calls on God to bring down abundant blessings upon the beloved inhabitants of Kosovo."

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