Government-affiliated Ethiopia church elects patriarch upon existing patriarch
Ethiomedia, March 1, 2013



Abune Matias, AP
ADDIS ABABA - The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) has in defiance of the call for peace and unity by the legitimate EOTC in exile, elected what it called the "6th patriarch" of the church.

The USA-based Holy Synod has been protesting the move as "shameful and bogus" to elect a patriarch in the presence of His Holiness Abune Merkorious, patriarch of the EOTC in exile.

Abune Matias, who was the Archbishop of the church in Jerusalem, has been declared the 6th patriarch.

But the powerful and influential US-based EOTC called on the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo faithful to reject the outcome of the election. A statement issued by the EOTC-in-Exile also accused the Addis-based Church group of being an accomplice of the dictatorial regime.

In the statement,the EOTC-in-exile said:

"Since His Holiness Abune Merkorios is still the legal Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Holy Synod in exile condemns any illegal enthronement of a Patriarch for the EOTC in Ethiopia, because it would be a serious contravention of the Church's canon law."

His Holiness Abune Merkorios, patriarch of the EOTC in exile, is considered the legitimate leader of the Ethiopian church. He was forced into exile with the coming to power of the TPLF regime in 1991.

They picked up the late Abune Paulos while pushing His Holiness Abune Merkorios into exile, and despite efforts to reconcile the divided church, the patriarchs under the command of the dictatorship in Ethiopia, went ahead with electing Abune Matias.

The EOTC in Exile condemned the move as "divisive and anarchic" and said now the door to bring about peace and unity of the divided church is shut.


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