THE late Archbishop Emeritus Petero Mataca was a great man who gave ordinary people the strength to battle difficulties without prejudice or malice, says Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji media officer Kamlesh Arya.
He said the Sabha was deeply saddened by his passing.
"The Sabha's deepest condolences are extended to the family and the Catholic Church," Mr Arya said.
"His contributions to Fiji as the head of the Catholic Church over the years provided strength to the ordinary. His soft but reasoned advice will continue to echo in the minds of all those who were in contact with him."
Mr Arya said the Sabha's senior officials had a very cordial relationship with Archbishop Mataca during his leadership.
"His contributions towards strife-filled situations were always very considerate and the Sabha believes that he crossed all barriers to bring comfort to everyone.
"His membership to the National Council for Building a Better Fiji in 2008 provided other members a broader approach to national concerns," the Sabha said.