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Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarch unwell, in hospital

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Patriarch Abune Mathias
Abune Mathias , Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church (Photo : Social Media)

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Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) Patriarch Abune Mathias is reportedly unwell. He is in a hospital in the capital Addis Ababa, according to a report by Ethiopian Orthodox Church Broadcasting Services.

The nature of his illness is unspecified, and his condition in the hospital is undisclosed. 

 He was seen to the public last during the occasion of Orthodox Christmas blessing conveying his messages of blessing in which he called Ethiopians to support those displaced and affected by the war when celebrating the holiday.

The Holy Synod of EOTC was due to have a meeting over the issue of Meskel Adebabay ( translates to “Cross Square ”) with relevant government authorities including Addis Ababa City, Adanech Abiebie. 

It is now indefinitely extended until the patriarch recovers from his illness. Ethiopian Orthodox Church faithful are conveying messages of best wishes and calling for prayer for his health. The Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church can not have a meeting in his absence.

According to sources close to the church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has legal ownership of the plot (Meskel Square). 

It was an individual who reportedly passed the ownership to the church several decades ago to be used as a scene for the celebration of commemoration of “finding of the true cross,” – Meskel – which is now listed with UNESCO as world heritage. 

The Ethiopian Church has been under immense administrative and political pressure, especially after prime minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. The prime minister is, however, credited for uniting the church that was divided for more than two decades due to political intervention from Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

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