Indian papal envoy to Ivory Coast dies in road accident

A+
A
A-

ABIDJAN – The papal envoy to Ivory Coast, Indian Archbishop Ambrose Madtha, has been killed in a traffic accident in the west of the country, the Ivorian church announced.

Madtha was travelling back from the northwestern town of Odienne to an ordination ceremony in the country’s west on Saturday evening when his car collided with another vehicle.

“Unfortunately the apostolic nuncio died on the spot,” said Mathieu Tehan, spokesman for the western diocese of Man where the ceremony was to take place.

President Alassane Ouattara, in a statement read on national television, expressed his “deep regret” at the death and sent condolences to the church and Madtha’s family.

Madtha, born in 1995 in the southwest Indian state of Karnataka, became the doyen of the Ivorian diplomatic corps after arriving in 2008.

He tried to play a behind-the-scenes mediating role during Ivory Coast’s 2010-11 political crisis when the previous ruler, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to step down even though Ouattara was declared winner of presidential elections.

The Catholic church was put in a delicate position since some of the country’s bishops favoured Gbagbo, who comes from the country’s majority Christian south.

Ouattara is from the largely Muslim north.

Last month Ouattara, accompanied by his Christian wife, met Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.

Ivory Coast and the Vatican agreed on “the role that the Catholic Church can offer for the good of the country, by encouraging and promoting human rights, dialogue and national reconciliation”, the Vatican said in a statement at the time.

Gbagbo is now awaiting trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Around 40 percent of Ivory Coast’s population is Muslim and 40 percent Christian. Some 20 percent are believers in native religions.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Horst Manure

    Act of God????

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/276L22SZM5ZUQGV24IL4ZEF6UA Edward

    Condolences to Archbishop Ambrose Madtha! May the Omnipotent and Merciful God accept you in His eternal Kingdom..May you rest in peace, Archbishop Ambrose Madtha…

  • sakinlang

    “Madtha, born in 1995 in the southwest Indian state of Karnataka, became the doyen of the Ivorian diplomatic corps after arriving in 2008.”

    A very young archbishop?

  • JasminCubacub

    “Madtha, born in 1995 in the southwest Indian state of Karnataka, became the doyen of the Ivorian diplomatic corps after arriving in 2008.”?   You are sure that Indian Bishop was born in the year 1995, meaning,  he is only 17 years old now?

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94