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Letter : Problem Within Toronto Medhanealem Church

​borkena, Ethiopian News
August 16,2017

Editor’s note : The writer sent it anonymously. can be reached at

My beloved Oriental Orthodox Clergy, brothers and sisters near and far; I am sorry to lay before you more dark news concerning the progressing tribulation that threatens the first Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Canada, Medhane Alem. On Sunday Aug 6/17 (Hamle 30, 2009), the Sunday before the Fast of the Assumption of The Holy Virgin Mariam, the former Chairman of the Medhane Alem trustee board who has been infected with the divisive poison of the enemy and his servants have made their next move in this continuing battle.

The father of Medhane Alem, Father Gabre Mik’ael, holds firm in the stance of our Founding Father Abune Yeshaq which is not choosing between the divided administration of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church which mirrors the hope he has expressed on video and written documentation of a reunited EOTC We are not restricted from serving on the same alter of any of our Holy Fathers, deacons and blessed laity. We stand as an ensign to the unity of the EOTC we have always cleaved to. Yet, today we find ourselves in a precarious position consisting of a few serious concerns.[adToAppearHere]
Our main concern rests in the preservation of the sanctity of our Alter, which has been known among the Ethiopian Orthodox community as a potent source of healing, hope and refuge for the weary soul since its establishment. Now that sanctity is at risk. Medhane Alem’s sanctified Alter that our Beloved Father Gabre Mik’ael has been preserving for decades from pollution and hypocrisy. The greatest of these threats was an attempted seizure by force 24 years ago July 23, 1994 at 425 Vaughn Road by none other than the very same clergy we find ourselves faced with again today through the infiltration of our deacons and elected trustee board.

His Eminence Abune Mattias (a.k.a Mathias) Desta (Canada) stands flanked with 2 priests, Leke Kesis Haile Mariam Fagan and Kesis Tekle Dingily, on his right and left side who began their life in this very Medhane Alem church through baptism before our Tabot, with his marriage blessed before our Tabot and Arch Bishop Abune Yeshaq and ordained Deacons by His Eminence Abune Yeshaq and worshipped before this very Tabot as well which rest on this Alter which he seeks to reconsecrate today. Why?

Well, this also happens to be the very Archbishop who excommunicated Leke Kesis Haile Mariam who was a deacon at the time. He went unto His Eminence Abune Mattias, the current Patriarch, who ordained him a priest. From that moment he sought to take possession of this church by force, which he physically attempted to do, but was forced out by the police and told not to return to our church. Somewhere around this time he also divorced his first wife and children. After which he was counseled to remarry through our sister Coptic church. He then divorced his second wife and children. Yet, he still manages to secure the title of Monk and Leke without being stripped of his priestly rank and returned to the level of a laity according to Canon Law. The moral plague reflects the spiritual one.

The second priest flanking the left side of His Eminence Abune Mattias Desta, Kesis Tekle Dingil, who aided in the first attempted seizure of Medhane Alem and happens to be the Godson of Father Gabre Mik’ael of Medhane Alem has also walked the path of divorce and remarriage. He still retains his position of Priesthood through the support of His Eminence Archbishop Abune Mattias Desta and he is also now resurfacing to pursue a second seizure of our Church.

His Eminence Abune Mattias Desta who supported the first invasion of our Church, now supports the second invasion through the letter that was read in our sanctuary by the former Chairman Haile Mik’ael that we have been demanded to organize a meeting between these 3 clergy so that a time can be arranged to consecrate the church and assume authority of the building without our priest, Father Gabre Mik’ael, being included in the discussion as a member of the trustee board to voice his position on the matter. The premise for this usurping of power is based on a falsified petition that was spread among targeted members who were manipulated with lies and vague intentions of securing clergy help for Medhane Alem. Yet, not mentioning the forcing of the change in our church’s position of hopeful reunification, nor that the 3 clergymen who plotted to seize the church by force 24 years ago are who they intend to bring for help, nor the fact that they are divorced clergy who are preserved and elevated in rank by the same Archbishop who supported the kicking off of Medhane Alem’s doors and most importantly the intention of reconsecrating our Alter based on the accusation that His Holiness Abune Yeshaq was in error when establishing this Medhane Alem church. This caused a great uproar in our church with tears, shock, anger and despair. This controversy divided a once peaceful congregation to the point of near violence and utter confusion.

His Eminence Abune Mattias Desta seems to be perpetuating a pattern of division and divorce among the diocese of Canada. The churches he has established are primarily founded upon grounds of tribal and cultural dissension and political power. It is by the grace of God that they stand and flourish. At the moment His Eminence Abune Mattias Desta does not serve out of any church as his home branch because the flock of his diocese does not welcome him permanently under their roofs. This unfortunate turn of events has led His Holiness Home branch seeking his substitution from the Holy Synod. In lieu of these recent events we are drafting this petition is for the new appointment of a Holy Archbishop from the synod of Ethiopia who honours the Canon Laws and shows the true love necessary to shepherd his flock.

Our intention is not to uncover the nakedness of our Holy Fathers, but only to relay a true account of the grief we suffer at the hands of those who have left from among us with ill intent and uncleanness. What have we done to deserve having divorced priests seizing and reconsecrating our Alter? Entering our Holy of Holies and handling the precious and Holy Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour, Yesus Kristos. Why should we give in to having divorced hands serving our children the Body and Blood of our Lord, which is fire? Are we following a different Canon Law from the rest of the church? Are the scriptures we read not enough of a reproof to the moral fabric, which they clothe themselves with?

“This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?).” – 1 Timothy 3:1-5
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
– Titus 1:5-7



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