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News: Ethiopian Orthodox Church Holy Synod distances itself from Patriarch’s remarks on Tigray

General Secretary of the Ethiopian Orthodox Twahdo Church Holy Synod His Holiness Abune Yoseph

By Etenesh Abera @EteneshAb

Addis Abeba, May 10/2021 – Government media quoted the General Secretary of the Ethiopian Orthodox Twahdo Church Holy Synod and Archbishop of Sidama and Gedeo Dioceses, His Holiness Abune Yoseph, as saying that the remarks made by His Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC), were that of His Holiness’ and were not approved by the Holy Synod, the highest assembly of the Church

Although throughout the 14 minutes video the Patriarch didn’t allude to his remarks being the decision of that of the Holy Synod, state broadcater EBC qouted His Holiness Abune Yoseph as saying that the remarks by the Patriarch were given outside the established framework of the Holy Synod and that the head of the Church cannot unilaterally provide statements on behalf of the Synod.

In the video which was privately recorded by Dennis Wadley, international director of Bridges of Hope, and was published online on May 07 His Holiness Abune Mathias I addressed Ethiopians “inside and outside the country” that he had “repeatedly tried” to plea to put a stop to “what’s happening in Ethiopia today, especially the barbarism taking place in Tigray,” but has not been successful because “a permission was not granted.” He also appealed to the “Churches around the world” to help the “grotesque deed” happening on the people Tigray, which he described as a “genocide.”

His Holiness Abune Yoseph is quoted by state owned and state affiliated media this afternoon that previous statements from the Church are released by His Holiness Abune Mathias I after they are approved by the Holy Synod and its permanent members.

The issue will be one topic of agenda during the next assembly of the Holy Synod, according to the report.

Meanwhile, The US embassy in Addis Abeba said this afternoon that Ambassador Geeta Pasi hosted the Patriarch at her residence where “the two discussed the current situation in Ethiopia and specifically the humanitarian crisis in Tigray, including his recent public message.

The Embassy further said Ambassador Geeta has “invited the Patriarch to attend future inter-faith community meetings at the Embassy to further explore and continue their conversation.” AS

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