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Pope's sorrow over death of Swedish foreign minister

Pope John Paul II has send expressed his sorrow over the death of Anna Lindh, the 46 year old Swedish official who died on Thursday, following her stabbing on Wednesday by an unknown assailant in a Stockholm department store.

Lindh was the main face of the Yes campaign in yesterday's referendum which made a failed attempt to seek the Swedish public's approval for the Government to adopt the European common currence the Euro. Most opinion polls after her stabbing showed support for the euro rising, although yesterday's vote showed that the No side was able to hang on to the majority it had right through the campaign.

A telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano says that the Pope "was saddened to learn of the violent death of Anna Lindh," and "sends heartfelt condolences to the government, Ms. Lindh's family, and the entire nation."

"Commending the Minister's soul to the benevolent mercy of Almighty God, His Holiness invokes the divine gifts of consolation and strength upon all who mourn her passing," the telegram continues. It was sent to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson.

"I add the expression of my own personal sympathy on this sad occasion and assure you of my prayers," the messages concludes.

The Pope was on an apostolic visit to Slovakia at the time.


Pope offers condolences on death of Swedish foreign minister (Catholic News Service)
Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh Dies (AP)
Obituary: Anna Lindh (BBC)
Sweden says No to euro (BBC)
Swedish PM: We must not give in (BBC)

15 Sep 2003