Vatican City, Mar 28, 2015 / 11:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolences following the death of Catholicos Dinkha IV, patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, describing him as an “important spiritual leader, a courageous and wise pastor.”
The patriarch passed away on Mar. 26 in Rochester, Minnesota at the age of 79.
Addressing the telegram to Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East for India, Pope Francis assured him, as well as all bishops, clergy, and faithful of the “spiritual closeness of all Catholics.”
“The Christian world has lost an important spiritual leader, a courageous and wise pastor who faithfully served his community in extremely challenging times,” the Pope said.
He observed that the Iraq-born patriarch had “suffered greatly because of the tragic situation in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and in Syria, resolutely calling attention to the plight of our Chri