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Ethiomonarchist

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The Patriarchal Electoral Committee of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has announced the names of five candidates for the Patriarchal throne.  The announcement has caused considerable surprise.  All five are Archbishops, and the candidates that were most expected are not included.  They are;

His Eminence, Archbishop Abune Mattias of Jerusalem
His Eminence Archbishop Abune Elsa of North Gondar
His Eminence Abune Hizkias, Archbishop of Kaffa, Sheka, Bench and Maji, and General Secretary of the Holy Synod
His Eminence Abune Mattewos of Wolaita and Dowaro
His Eminence Abune Yosef of Bale

In the coming days the five names will be reduced to three, and then on February 28, 800 deligates including the entire Holy Synod, and representatives of all the monasteries, the administrators of the major churches and cathedrals, the theological college, the seminaries, the sunday schools and lay organizations will elect the 6th Patriarch of the church in succession to his Late Holiness Abune Paulos.

The above patriarchal candidate choices are very interesting.  Also interesting are the names that are not on the list.  Of the over 9000 nominations sent in to the electoral committee, over 7000 are believed to have nominated Abune Samuel, the former Archbishop of Addis Ababa, and currently head of the Development and Relief Administration of the Church.  Abune Samuel was widely seen as highly favored by the EPRDF government and there seems to have been a concerted effort on the part of the authorities to get him elected.  He is an ethnic Tigrean (same ethnic group as the elite of the regime) and was seen as very pro-government.  His rejection by the committee sends a rather strong message.  Also rejected was Abune Gabriel, Archbishop of Awasa, who was prominent at the funeral of the late Prime Minister and seen to be actively courting the authorities.  Abune Mattias of Jerusalem is now seem as the Patriarchal front runner, which is a huge irony as there was a campaign against his candidacy by government figures in spite of the fact that he is also a Tigrean.  It was put out that His Eminence was too monarchist having been close to the Imperial family during their exile, and having remained close to them.  He is now considered a hands down favorite.  None of the candidates have particularly close ties to the government.

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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Peter

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Reply with quote  #2 
It is commendable and brave of your Church to resist this pressure. I hope the government will accept it and there will not be consequences.
Ethiomonarchist

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The government press announced the candidates indicating that the regime will go along with the synod's decision.  It seems that the ruling party has decided to quietly endorse the Tigrean candidate even though it has been calling him "too monarchist" for a while now.  Abune Hizkias is an Amhara of Wollo, Abune Matewos an Amhara of Shewa, and Abune Elsae is an Amhara of Gondar.  Abune Yosef is an Oromo.  It is virtually assured that the government will not allow an Amhara, particularly of traditional power centers like Gondar and Shewa on the Patriarchal throne.  It seems assured that it will be Abune Mattias.

Abune Mattias assisted the late Patriarch Abune Tekle Haimanot at my ordination as a boy deacon years ago.  He was one of 14 bishops appointed following the imprisonment of Patriarch Abune Theophilos and the enthronement of Patriarch Abune Tekle Haimanot.  After serving for a few years in Jerusalem, he issued a denounciation of communism and the blood drenched rule of the Derg and became the first Ethiopian archbishop to go into exile.  He became a staple on the Voice of America's Amharic service and on the BBC issuing anathemas against the Derg and those who cooperated with them. a  He is a man of stately presence, although not without some detractors dating from the hight of ethnic disputes between members of the exile community in Washington D.C. in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Derg when he sided with the predominantly Tigrean side in the splits in the community.  However he maintained his warm relations with the Imperial family throughout.  Patriarch Abune Paulos appointed him Archbishop of the United States, and in this capacity he was instrumental in beginning the efforts towards reconciliation with the exile synod.  He was later returned to his old archdiocese of Jerusalem where he serves presently.

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #4 
Several church focused independent websites are reporting that the government has abandoned it's earlier support of Abune Samuel's failed candidacy, and have now turned to aggressively promoting Abune Mattias.  Abune Samuel is now regarded by the ruling party as too strongly in favor of the supremacy of the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia over other faiths, and by the electors as too eagerly and obviously campaigning for the patriarchate.  Thus his bid has now failed even though he received more nominations than anyone else.  

Abune Hizkias is being championed by those who believe that it is the turn of someone form Wollo to sit on the Patriarchal throne.  The first Patriarch after autocephalous status was gained, Patriarch Abune Basilios, was from Shewa.  The second, Abune Theophilos, was from Gojjam.  The third, Patriarch Abune Tekle Haimanot, and the fourth, Patriarch Abune Merkorios, were both of from Gondar although Abune Tekle Haimanot identified with Wollaita more as it was there he spent most of his years as a hermit monk.  The fifth, Patriarch Abune Paulos, was a Tigrean.  The only region of Ethiopia's traditional Christian heartland not to have had a turn on the Patirarchal throne is thus Wollo.

It is also being reported that Abune Elsa and Abune Mattewos are both demanding that their names be withdrawn from the list.  Abune Elsa had previously been put forward as a Patriarchal candidate in 1992 when the winner was Abune Paulos. 

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #5 
The Holy Synod has decided that it will not drop two names from the list of five candidates, and that all five names will be submitted to the electors on Thursday.  The person with the highest number of votes on Thursday will emerge as the sixth Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.  Delegations from sister churches have begun to arrive in Addis Ababa to observe the election and to participate in the enthronement on Sunday.
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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #6 
Below are photographs of the Patriarchal Candidates of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church.  Within the next 24 hours, one of these men will be the head of the second largest of all Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.


Abune Mattias, Archbishop of Jerusalem and the Holy Land Monasteries


Abune Elsa, Archbishop of North Gondar


Abune Yosef, Archbishop of Bale


Abune Hizkias, Archbishop of Kaffa, Sheka, Bench and Maji
General Secretary of the Holy Synod


Abune Mattewos, Archbishop of Wollaita and Dowaro

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #7 
Tomorrow, February 28th, in the Hall of the Gospels, at the Patriarchal Palace in Addis Ababa, the electors will assemble at 7 AM.  His Eminence Archbishop Abune Natnael, Locum Tenens and Acting Patriarch will lead the electors in reciting the Magnificat to open the session.  Following the prayer, members of the electoral committee will then give a short explanation of the procedures for the last time.  Then Abune Natnael Locum Tenens of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and two other of the most senior Archbishops (by date of elevation to the episcopacy) will stand together on the dias holding up three processional crosses and administer the electors oath.  The electors will in unison say:

"As I present myself to elect a Patriarch, I pledge to root out from my conscience, all scheming, hatred, jealousy, greed and envy.  I will distance myself from ties of blood or friendship, and without any favoritism or private desire, with thoughtfulness and carefullness, will elect only that father who I believe will be the spiritual shepherd and loyal servant of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church.  I swear this before the Holy Trinity, in the name of the All Knowing and all Powerful God.  If I fail to carry out this which I have sworn to, in this world or the next, on the day of the final judgement, I will answer for it before God."


The electors will then proceed to vote for the 6th Patriarch.  

Some blogs are reporting that Abune Matewos, Archbishop of Wolaita and Dowaro, has removed himself from candidacy and has secluded himself in his rooms in the Patriarchal complex.  It is unclear if this means the electoral committee will remove his name from the ballot.  Other reports deny that His Eminence has done any such thing.  With all the public posturing of various camps and interest groups, I completely understand why the Roman Catholic Church locks it's Cardinals into the Sistine Chapel and seals the doors, cutting them off from all contact with the outside until they emerge with a new Pope.

Ethiopian Christians are holding their breath. 



__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #8 
Abune Mattias of Jerusalem has been elected Patriarch of Ethiopia. He earned 500 of the 803 valid. Votes cast by the electors. His Holiness will be enthroned at Holy Trinity Cathedral on Sunday.


His Holiness during his time as Archbishop of Jerusalem and the Holy Land Monasteries.


__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #9 



                                            

The new Patriarch of Ethiopia, Abune Mattias was born Teklemariam Asrat in 1934 Ethiopian calendar (1940/41 Western calendar) in Tigray province, in the district of Agame, in Sebuha county.

Teklemariam was ordained as deacon in 1954 by Abune Markos, the then Archbishop of Eritrea.  The then Deacon Teklemariam served in several capacities at the Chohé monastery, in Tenbien district of Tigray, where he stayed for most of the subsequent 14 years.  In 1963, he was ordained as a priest and monk at Chohé.  Now known as Abba Teklemariam, he left the monastery to further his education in Addis Ababa, and served in the Holy Trinity Cathedral from 1971 to 76.  During this time, the government of Emperor Haile Selassie was overthown, and the then Patriarch Abune Tewophilos was arrested and subsequently executed by the Derg regime.  Following the enthronement of Patriarch Tekle Haimanot to replace Patriarch Abune Tewophilos, Abba Teklemariam was appointed to serve as the Patriarchal Vicar (Abune Kesis) to the new Patriarch, and fuctioned as his closest aide.  In 1978, as the Derg regime identified the senior Archbishops and Bishops with the fallen Imperial government, it ordered that all the senior hierarchs go into retirement.  As a result, Patriarch Abune Tekle Haimanot had to annoint 14 new bishops to fill the vacancies left by the retiring hierarchs.  Abba Tekle Mariam was thus annointed as the new bishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land in 1978 Western Calendar and adopted the new Episopal name and title of Abune Mattias.  While serving in Jerusalem he was elevated from Bishop to Archbishop.  In early 1980, Archbishop Abune Mattias became the first bishop of the church to issue a denunciation fo the blood drenched rule of the Derg.  He pronounced an anathema against Mengistu Haile Mariam and the members of the regime, and then went into exile.  Abune Mattias eventually settled in Washington D.C. where he presided over the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Our Savior of Washington, and continued to broadcast messages against the Derg regime on Radio Voice of America and the BBC.  In 1992, Abune Mattias returned to Ethiopia following the fall of the Derg and of Patriarch Abune Merkorios to take up once more his seat in the Holy Synod.  Following the enthronement of Patriarch Abune Paulos, Abune Mattias was named Archbishop of North America.  Later, the Archdiocese was divided and Abune Mattias served as Archbishop of the United States, when Canada became a separate Diocese.  In 2009, the Archdiocese of the United States was divided again into three new Archdioceses, and Abune Mattias was asked to return to take up his former Archdiocese of Jerusalem.  Before departing for the Holy Land, Abune Mattias played a key role in initiating attempts to reach a reconciliation between the Holy Synod in Addis Ababa, and the exiled Synod in the United States headed by former Patriarch Abune Merkorios.  

Abune Mathias became the 6th Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the election held on 28th of February 2013 where he received 500 of the 806 the votes cast by a college of electors representing various sections of the Church.


__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #10 
His Holiness Patriarch Abune Mathias was enthroned yesterday at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa yesterday.  In addition to the entire synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the enthronement was attended by His Holiness, Basilios Marthoma Paulose II, Patriarch-Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Church of India and several Indian bishops.  A delegation of 5 Coptic Orthodox bishops from Egypt also attended representing Pope Tawadros II and had cast votes in the election of the Ethiopian Patriarch just as Ethiopian bishops had taken part in the Coptic Pope's election.  Several Armenian and Syriac bishops were also present.  Leaders of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, including Archbishop Berhaneyesus Surafel, leaders of the Ethiopian Evangelical Lutheran Church, the speaker of the Lower House of Parliament representing the Prime Minister and government, and the personal representative of Ethiopia's ailing ceremonial president Girma Wolde Giorgis also attended.  Virtually the entire Ethiopian Imperial family who were in Addis Ababa also attended.  Not only was this the enthronement of the new Patriarch of the church, but coincidentally it was also the 40 day memorial service for Princess Aida Desta, the late granddaughter of Emperor Haile Selassie and wife of the hereditary prince of Tigre, Ras Mangsha Seyoum.  Crown Prince Zera Yacob led the Imperial family at the ceremonies.  Below is a link to a youtube video of Ethiopian television reporting on the enthronement.  It's in Amharic, and when I find english coverage, I will add that later.  The man holding the bouquet of microphones towards the end of the report is the speaker of parliament.

http://www.orthodoxherald.com/2013/03/03/abune-mathias-enthroned-6th-patriarch-of-ethiopian-orthodox-church/



__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
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