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05.04.2005 General News

President Kufuor to attend burial of the Pontiff

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Accra, April 5, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor will lead Ghana's delegation to the burial of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican on Friday. President Kufuor announced this on Tuesday after he had signed a Book of Condolence in memory of the Pontiff at the Apostolic Nunciature in Accra.

He said Vice President Aliu Mahama would lead the Government delegation to a requiem mass in memory of the Pontiff to be celebrated by the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference on Thursday, April 7, at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra at 1000 hours.

President Kufuor, who was welcomed to the Nunciature by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop George Kocherry, wrote: "Pope was truly a great human being - A very spiritual man and Christ-like. The world is the poorer for his passing."

Ministers who accompanied President Kufuor also signed the book, which was opened from Tuesday April 5 to Monday April 11, from 0900 hours to 13 hours every day except on Thursday, April 7.

They were Mr Joseph Henry Mensah, Senior Minister, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, Minister of Defence, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of the Interior, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Minister for Public Sector Reforms, Mr Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, Minister for Presidential Affairs, Miss Elizabeth Ohene, Minister at the Ministry of Education and Sports, and Professor George Hagan, Chairman of the National Commission on Culture.

The body of the Pontiff, who died last Saturday, April 2, at the age of 84, has been laid at the St. Peters' Basilica. Pope John Paul who served for 26 years, was the first non-Italian Pontiff elected in about four and a half centuries in 1978 to head the Church.

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