Home > City Journal > Bishops suspended from thier posts

Bishops suspended from thier posts

Two high ranking Ethiopian Orthodox officials have been suspended from their posts, it was disclosed.
The Auxiliary Bishop and the Bishop of the Addis Ababa Diocese, Abune Samuel, and head of the Theological College of the Holy Trinity, Abune Timotios were suspended from their respective posts as of Thursday, June 25 in a letter signed by the patriarch Abune Paulos.
The action, seen by many as a sad and arrogant one, would encourage the view that the Patriarch is more concerned with keeping his position than with God’s word and work.


Observers inside the Orthodox Church have been speculating about the growing acrimonious relationship between the patriarch and other top bishops, including with Abune Samuel and Abune Timotios.
Abune Samuel, who has become effective by working with the young members of the church, has long been rumored to have lost the favour of the patriarch.
Though the Patriarch never criticized him publicly, his proposal to break up the Addis Ababa dioceses into four divisions at a recent Holy Synod meeting had unmistakably ominous implications. The proposal was automatically rejected by the Synod.
In a related news, Addis Neger wrote that the executive committee comprising seven archbishops established on June 3, 2009 has been dissolved by a letter written by the patriarch Abune Paulos. The letter issued on June 25 was addressed to the chairman of the committee, Abune Timoteos, with copies sent to the committee members, the Prime Minister’s Office, Federal Affairs Minister, National security and the Intelligence service and the Addis Ababa Police Commission.
According to Addis Neger, the decision to ban the committee was made on June 24 at a meeting of the General Church administration Congress. The committee members and a large number of members of the Holy Synod were not present at this meeting. Administrators of monasteries and churches in Addis Ababa attended the meeting.
The administrator’s Congress passed six decisions at its meeting including the closing down the committee’s office and the invalidation of its seal and letter head. One of the decisions asked that the committee members be held accountable for disseminating “illegal and anti-peace writings” posted o n the internet and published in Addis Neger. It also asked that Addis Neger’s editor-in-chief be held accountable by the law.
(Picture of Abune Samuel taken by Anteneh Aklilu)

  1. Genene
    June 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

    This is injustice.
    We are informed by the Christian mandate to stand for justice and to raise our voices when such acts are commtied.

  2. Zerihun
    June 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Both Abune apoauls and Abune Samuel are from Tigray.So what are they squabbling about?

  3. sin
    June 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Why the so called patrairch doesn’t want Abune samauel isn’t difficut to guess.Aba samuel is a well-liked and well-respected father but Abaune Paouls isn’t.

  4. June 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I hate to break it to you, Arefe. But you can’t report this news more unfairly.

    You said the Patriarch suspended “high ranking officials” of the orthodox church. And, instead of telling us why (or why people think the “officials” were suspended), you went on telling us how “dictatorial” the patriarch has become. This is not only a one sided story, but it’s a story with an agenda: yours! Personally, nothing that comes out of the Ethiopian Orthodox church surprises me. Most of them are a bunch of power moguls who still seem to operate in the Pre-Tewodros state of mind. Still under the delusion that they can lord it over anybody they want. So such a subject maybe too hot a potatoe to handle, especially for a devout follower (and foremost teQawami of the Patriarch) like yourself. But this isn’t how you go about it. The way i see it, anyway.

  5. Arefe
    June 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Abesheet,
    I don’t claim to be the nicest person in the world but I am not mean enough to set an agenda of attaching higher spiritual figures of the Tewahdo Church. No that’s not what I am up to. It isn’t my agenda at all. Please look at the other posts where the Patriarch has been mentioned before. Point out to me if you find anything unkind about him. But of course I was unpleasantly surprised by his action of suspending some higher ranking and important church official. That’s also the impression I’ve got after talking to many well-meaning people.

  6. berhane
    June 30, 2009 at 8:43 am

    please when we write, speake about any thing we have to be faire and we have to have again full information about it. Other wise we may mislead our reader and listner. When l read Arefe`s report it is full of bias and totally unfair report. It seems as if personal hostality. And if you like you know nothing about the EOTC and you are KINIJIT. And please don`t connect any thing to poletical afairs and let peoplse to get emotional. By the way whatever you say we don`t have an ear to you and others who follow you. if you want to be heard heard by others please be neutral and provide faire information. LONG LIVE TO ETHIOPIA

  7. weyesa
    June 30, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Don’t worry about who lost his power or who isn’t.
    just wait and see the out come.

    • Angry
      July 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      Only Medahni Alem has a power.

      • Angry
        July 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm

        It’ has been quite a while since I’ve lost my faith in religious leaders.
        I am’ not surprised by any of this. The church is’ built by Abune Samuel or Abune Paolus but on the rock of Jesus Christ.

      • Angry
        July 3, 2009 at 4:08 pm

        I mean isn’t built

  8. July 1, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    I appologize, Arefe, if I’ve wronged you. I guess I just went by my feeling or bias (if you will), instead of by what I saw in your posts. Read between the lines, so to say, for I’ve always been under the impression that you are a fanatic (or atleast “ጥብቅ”) Orthodox Christian. [Have even suggested once that we call you so you could “ጸበል መርጨት” my blog when it kept locking out a reader of mine who loves talking about God]. And we all know how detasted the Abune is among “ጥብቅ” Orthodox Christians.


  9. Wendu
    July 2, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I feel like there is a plan by the ruling party to change a Patriarch to fulfill Meles’ proposed “change” in 2010. Replace top government officials and take the Patriarch along to make it look like there is an actual thorough and comprehensive CHANGE.

    There have been some covert efforts that I have been noticing lately, which try to portray the Abune Samuel as a “hero”, a “man of God”, and most importantly, “anti-Paulos (one of the most hated men in present day Ethiopia)”.

    So to stage a fight between the two, and to specially portray Samuel as the victim, will automatically generate support for him. And the “victimized hero” will win at the end.

    I am very sure that if Paulos is asked to engage in some drama which will end in his removal from power for the sake of extending the Adwa dynasty, he would willingly participate and retire to a sea side villa in Europe or America with millions in his account. It is a win-win situation for the slick Tigrayan who is said to be a big believer in “Adwa power”.

    One of the biggest works of writer/director/producer Meles Zenawi is in progress.

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