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Ethiopian Church Holy Synod Unity prevails, joy as three bishops who broke away from it returned

The Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church glorified those who were slain while defending their church. The church is referring to them as martyrs. The result that the church attained in connection with recent problem is linked to their martyrdom and determination of the laity to defend the church 

Ethiopian Church _ Holy Synod _ Sawiros
Members of the Ethiopian Church Holy Synod on Wednesday gathered to announce the news of the return of the lost sheep. (Photo credit : EOTC)

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The Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church on Wednesday announced that the problem within the church has been resolved.

The three bishops who broke away from the Holy Synod to announce the formation of a new ethnic Oromoa synod, on January 22, 2023 , are reuniting with the Church. 

According to reports, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed himself led the three Bishops to the patriarchate and met with his Holiness Abune Mathias in Amist Kilo. He was accompanied by other senior-level government officials and elders who were undertaking mediation efforts within the framework of the decision from the Holy synod. 

There was no negotiation between the Holy Synod and the broke-away bishops as two equal parts although the government attempted to make it appear that way in the statements it was making in reference to the development – which the church rejected. 

The statement from the church gave credit to Abiy Ahmed for the return of the three Bishops. He is cited as saying that the “church will remain united until the bridegroom comes.”  He was said to be part of the mediation committee which was composed of two bishops from the Holy Synod, and elders.

His government was widely criticized for supporting the broke-away bishops who were projecting problems regarding delivering church service in Oromo language – something that was rather seen as a pretext. 

These bishops ordained 26 monks as bishops uncanonically and assigned them to different dioceses in the Oromia and other parts of Southern Ethiopia. While regional states in the South supported the Holy Synod position and defended churches from being forcefully taken by the new bishops, the situation in Oromia region was different. 

Churches were seized forcefully and the Oromia regional state special forces massacred innocent civilians who attempted to protect their church in Shashemene and other areas. At least 13 believers are killed. The Ethiopian Church is paying tribute to the martyrdom of the faithful who were killed while protecting their church. 

What is next for the three Bishops 

When the Holy Synod excommunicated the three Bishops and stripped them of their ecclesiastical rank on January 24, it gave them an opportunity to rejoin the Holy Synod through repentance in accordance with the canons of the church. 

Leader of the broke-away bishops Abune Sawiros bows to his Holiness Abune Mathias getting his blessings (Photo source : Adebabay Media)

The Holy Synod has announced today that the three bishops will be given back their bishop status. They will also be assigned to the dioceses that they were serving. There are expectations that the Holy Synod will subject them to perform religious repentance in accordance with the tradition of the church.  And they are expected to apologize at the Holy Synod. 

However, the 26 monks they ordained uncanonically are relegated to their previous ranks. Some of them will be subject to evaluation in regard to their theological knowledge to determine if it is eligible to serve in the Ethiopian Church. 

The pretext for their action, which caused the loss of innocent lives, was problem-related to providing language. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has announced that it will work on expanding language service in Oromia and other regions in Southern Ethiopia. It has announced to pledge more resources to the project.  The decision was not an imposed one from the government, according to Grace Abune Abraham who is head of administration in the office of the Patriarchate and the Archbishop of Bahir Dar Dioceses.  

The condition of those arrested 

Apart from those killed and wounded, the Ethiopian Federal government and Oromia regional State made extensive arrests. There were arrests in the capital Addis Ababa until Tuesday this week.

His Grace Abune Abraham said those arrested because of their faith will be released, and that the Church is working with the government to secure their release. 

From his explanation, the government has linked some of the arrests to other security-related concerns. For those,  His Grace Abune Abraham said, amnesty will be asked. 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This is excellent news. What a sigh of relief for the citizens of that country because another deadly and destructive conflict is averted. Kudos to the PM and the elders for being able to bring the two sides together. I am very happy for the mothers because now they don’t have to worry about that their children may not come back alive. More good news like this, please!!!!

  2. “The statement from the church gave credit to Abiy Ahmed for the return of the three Bishops.”

    The wolf in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as a benevolent and decent premier, under due political pressure from both inside Ethiopia an abroad, returned with the three formerly ex-communicated bishops, his government manipulated and exploited to interfere in the internal affairs of the EOTC and corrupt the already beleaguered institute further.

    Abiy’s insincerity, his sullen face, blood shot eyes, his discomfort and duplicity were all visible. The political opportunist, enemy of the EOTC and pp lackey and political cadre, daniel kibret was there also without any shame or any sense of compunction.

    What they have plotted against Ethiopia next,only God knows. But everybody must not let get distracted, must keep eyes on the ball and track and identify each move, each step of this unscrupulous riff ruff each day, each minute and each second of the day. May God Save and Bless Ethiopia. The wolves in sheep’s clothing are now roaming around by day and night.

    Justice for the executed, justice for the incarcerated, justice for the abused. The march goes on, the struggle continues.

    • Wolves in sheep’s clothing. atela neftegna bishkit shintam kinkinam you will not be in finfine

      Those wicked pastors of amhara origin who were encouraging the believers to engage in conflict with police are from mahjibrekidusan, and mihretab & amhara bishops in unholy synod also played a key role in the chaos.
      THese wicked people need to be brought to, justice and should be locked up . Poor innocent civilians died in vain, incontrsat to fake propaganda of being martyr, to protect bishops’ seat and financial interest.
      የተወገዙ ዎችን አናስገባም ብለው ተሰው ተባለ ለግለሰብ ጥቅም ሰውን ማስጨፍጨፍ ከቴም ሰማዕትነት

      Amhara bishops are going t consecrate abiy amhed and shimelis to be archbishop of PP and honor him as liqenegestat

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