Bujumbura (Fides Service). There is still deep grief all over the country for the violent killing of Archbishop Michael Aidan Courtney, papal nuncio in Burundi, killed in an ambush on 29 December 2003 (see Fides 30 December 2003, http://www.fides.org/eng/news/2003/0312/30_1927.html and Fides 2 January 2004, http://www.fides.org/eng/news/2004/0401/02_1932.html).
In a declaration released to Fides, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Nuncio in Uganda, at presently acting person at the Bujumbura nunciature, said this about the late Archbishop: “I have been here in Bujumbura since the day after the murder of Mgr Courtney and I have witnessed the deep grief and immense suffering which the tragic event caused throughout the country. Archbishop Courtney had built up intense relations with the people; everyone was enchanted by the simplicity with which he addressed people and his tireless efforts for peace. I can say that I have witnesses a splendid example of the work of a Nuncio. Now our prayer is that the nation will continue along the path of peace for which Mgr Courtney worked so hard, so that a new Burundi may be born where its people can live in peace and harmony”.
Tomorrow, 29 January, a month since the tragedy, there will be a Mass in Bujumbura Cathedral presided by the Bishop of Bujumbura Evariste Ngoyagoye and concelebrated with Archbishop Christophe and Mgr Luigi Travaglino, ad interim at Bujumbura nunciature pending the arrival of the newly appointed Nuncio, Archbishop elect Paul Richard Gallagher. The Mass will be attended by the President Domitien Ndayizeye, several government ministers and the diplomatic corps. Large crowds are expected to gather. (L.M.) (Fides Service 28/1/2004, lines 27 words 288)