Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kosovo's bishop Mark Sopi dies of heart attack

PRISTINA, Kosovo-The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Kosovo died of a heart attack Wednesday, a church official said.

Kosovo Bishop, Monsignor Mark Sopi

Bishop Mark Sopi, 68, died at a hospital in Kosovo's capital at 3:00 p.m., senior church official Don Shan Zefi said.

Kosovo's president and prime minister expressed their condolences.

"The people of Kosovo will miss Bishop Sopi," Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi said in a statement. "His contribution was multifaceted and this makes the loss even greater."

"We highly value his contribution for Kosovo," said Muhamet Hamiti, a spokesman for Kosovo's president.

Sopi was appointed Kosovo's bishop in 1996 after the then serving Bishop Mark Prela had died. The seat of the Catholic Church is based in the southern city of Prizren.

He was very close to Kosovo's ailing President Ibrahim Rugova, who is suffering from lung cancer.

Last year Bishop Sopi was condemned by Belgrade authorities for urging ethnic Albanians to pray for Independent Kosovo. He was quoted as saying:

"The Birth of Christ can be compared to the birth of new reality in Kosovo.”

Kosovo is a predominantly Muslim, but some 4-5 percent of its people are ethnic Albanian Catholics.


Adam Bajgora said...

Bishop Mark Sopi he dident died from the heart attack, they put posion in His food, they must investigate better the death of His Grace Mr.Sopi.
With much Love and Pain in Christ: +Adam Phoenix-AZ, USA

BalkanUpdate said...

And why exactly would anybody put poison in his food? I love stopping these conspiracy theories right up front. Keep it real!