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General News of Saturday, 28 July 2012

Source: HighStreetMail

Mills' death should be platform for unity - Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI, has asked Ghanaians to let the occasion of the death of former President John Evans Atta Mills serve as a platform to unite them.

In a special message of condolence to President John Dramani Mahama, the government and the people of Ghana, the Pontiff described the death of President Mills as a shock and an event which had plunged Ghanaians into a state of mourning.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Most Rev Dominic Leon B. Kalenga, delivered the message Friday when a delegation from the Catholic Bishops Conference called on President Mahama at the Castle, Osu.

The delegation, led by the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Most Rev Joseph Osei-Bonsu, was at the Castle to commiserate with the government on the death of the former President. The delegation also congratulated President Mahama on his elevation to the office of the President.

Pope Benedict XVI said whenever such a tragedy hit an African country, the world became apprehensive, but noted that Ghana was a peaceful country.

He expressed the hope that President Mahama would continue to entrench the principle of democracy, peace and stability championed by the former President.

Pope Benedict XVI, also urged President Mahama to have a good beginning and prayed that Ghana’s democracy would continue to grow.

Interacting with the President, Most Rev Osei-Bonsu said the bishops of the Catholic Church in Ghana were equally shocked to hear the news of the demise of former President Mills and prayed for the repose of his soul.

He congratulated President Mahama on his elevation and assured him that the bishops would support him with prayers.

Most Rev Osei-Bonsu said the President could count on the bishops for advice and guidance.

Responding, President Mahama thanked the bishops for coming to express condolence on the loss of the former President.

He expressed the hope that God would help him to carry out the good work that he had started.

He also expressed the hope that the bishops would continue to offer suggestions and raise the red flags when the government was going off course.

He said a committee had been set up to plan a state burial for the late President.**