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)