The leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church failed on Friday to make good on a promise of an announcement regarding the Ark of the Covenant.

The Italian news agency Adnkronos had reported that Patriarch Abuna Pauolos, who was in Rome this week to meet with Pope Benedict XVI, said that "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that G-d delivered to Moses, and the center of searches and studies for centuries."

"The Ark of the Covenant has been in Ethiopia for many centuries,” he reportedly said. “As Patriarch, I have seen it with my own eyes, and only a few, highly-qualified persons could do the same -- until now."

The news agency said an announcement would be made at the Hotel Aldrovandi in Rome, where Pauolos was staying. However, a hotel spokeswoman told WorldNetDaily that although Pauolos had indeed been in residence there, no news conference or event was scheduled.

The original report quoted the patriarch as saying that the Ark of the Covenant "is in Ethiopia and nobody … knows for how much time. Only G-d knows. " He also said that the Ark "is described perfectly in the Bible" and added that "The state of conservation is good because it is not made from man's hand, but is something that G-d has made."