Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Dec 11, 2012 / 00:10 am
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.