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News: Patriarch of Orthodox Church, Popes and Bishops commence prayers ahead of Holy Synod emergency plenary session

His Holiness Abune Mathias I at today’s prayer session

Addis Abeba – His Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Popes, Bishops and senior members of the clergy have commended a prayer session at the Patriarchate of Holy of Holies St. Mary Monastery in Addis Abeba this afternoon ahead of the expected emergency plenary session of the Holy Synod. The EOTC has announced three-days of prayer to all its members.

Last Sunday, the Patriarch has summoned members of the Holy Synod from all over world to gather for the emergency plenary session following the appointment of 26 Bishops in Haro Beale Wold Church located in Woliso town, Sodo Dache district, South West Shoa zone of Oromia.

Led by His Holiness Abune Sawiros (PhD), Archbishop of South West Shoa Diocese, together with two other Archbishops, the appointment of 26 bishops: 17 bishops for dioceses located in the Oromia region, and nine bishops for dioceses outside Oromia took place in Haro Beale Wold Church, without the involvement of the Holy Synod, creating widespread shock and anger among many of the church’s followers. Opinions are sharply divided between followers of the Church who are strongly opposed to the move and those who support it.

All three Archbishops are since suspended from their salaries and had their houses and lodging facilities sealed.

His Holiness Abune Mathias I called the act “illegal” and one conducted without the approval of the Holy Synod. He characterized the event as “a great event that has targeted the church” and has taken place unexpectedly, without the knowledge of the Synod, and without discussions.

The highly anticipated emergency plenary session of the Holy Synod is reported to take place as of tomorrow and expected to deliberate on the issue which is seen as threatening to split the Church.

Today’s prayer session commenced by the Patriarch with a call for the emergency plenary session of the Holy Synod to be fruitful. AS

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