Public Procession Held for Deceased EOC Patriarch Abune Merkorios

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Addis Ababa,  March 12/2022/ENA/ A public procession for the late Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC), Abune Merkorios, was held at Meskel Square this morning.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Mayor Adanech Abebie and other officials, diplomats of different countries, and archbishops paid tribute to the late patriarch.

Thousands of people have also attended the public procession to pay their last tribute to the deceased patriarch.

His Holiness Abune Merkorios was the 4th Patriarch of the EOC before he died at the age of 84.

The procession ceremony was led by His Holiness Abune Matheis, the 6th Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

In his tributary message, His Holiness Abune Matheis said the late patriarch had successfully completed his apostolic vocation with absolute diligence, honesty, and hard work till he entered into his eternal rest.

During the rein of the EPRDF-led government, the late Abune Merkorios was removed, deposed, and replaced  by a new patriarch while his holiness was alive, a move that forced the patriarch to go into exile, according to the obituary of the late patriarch.

His holiness stayed for 27 years in exile until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed persuaded him to return home.

His official obituary recalled that the late Abune Merkorios  played critical and decisive role in the reunification of the two rival synods at home and abroad.

Speaking at the ceremony, the premier said he is deeply saddened by his Holiness’s departure.

“Just like you all, I am deeply saddened today as he was also my spiritual father. What I want to tell you is that I share your grief today. For me, it is like losing my own father,” he stated.

Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council President, Mufti Haji Omar Idris on his part extended his condolences at the ceremony.

The tribute bestowed on Abune Merkorios teaches us that good deed and good character pays, he said, adding that “we all need to learn from that example.”

Ethiopian Catholic Church Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel said the late Abune Merkorios passed through lots of tribulations. “However, his love for his country and unity  is a great example for us all.”

Ethiopian Evangelical Church Fellowship President, Pastor Tsadiku Abdo said his Holiness’s contribution to uniting the two separated synods in Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the path he has taken is a great example.

The funeral of the late Abune Merkorios will be held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Church on Sunday, March 13, 2022, after an overnight vigil.

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