Pope Benedict XVI has sent a letter of condolence to the Metropolitan Spyridon of Heliopolis for the death of His Beatitude Archbishop Ignatius Hazim IV, Greek Orthodox patriarch of Antioch and all the East, who died on 5 December at the age of 92.
In the text, the Holy Father observes that "during his long life of service to the Gospel, the deceased patriarch offered luminous testimony to faith and charity, working with dedication for the spiritual elevation of the flock entrusted to him and for the noble cause of reconciliation and peace among men.
"I render thanks to God for the positive and effective contribution the late Patriarch Ignatius made to the process of conciliation between our two Churches. Let his memory invite us to continue on the path of dialogue and the search for full communion in Christ!" concluded the Pope.