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Ethiomonarchist

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The latest round of talks to end the scism within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church have ended in Dallas Texas.  The two sides have agreed to meet in late January for further talks.  The Church split following the enthronement of the late Patriarch Abune Paulos in 1992.  At that time, four Archbishops refused to accept the abdication of former Patriarch Abune Merkorios and went into exile in the west setting up a parallel synod.  They argued that the abdication of Patriarch Merkorios, who had been enthroned with the approval of the communist Derg regime in 1988, had been under duress by the new post-communist government and was therefore illegal and uncanonical.  The synod inside Ethiopia however argued that the abdication was legitimate, and that the election and enthronement of Abune Paulos as Patriarch was indeed canonical.  Churches outside Ethiopia quickly chose one of three sides, adhering to the Synod in Exile, the Synod in Ethiopia, or joining a group of churches that proclaimed neutrality but was in effect estranged from both synods.  Patriarch Abune Paulos was universally recognized by other churches as legitimate however. 

Matters took a turn for the worse two years ago when the synod in exile decided to annoint 14 new bishops without the sanction of the synod inside Ethiopia.  The synod inside Ethiopia promptly excommunicated the former Patriarch Abune Merkorios and the original four Archbishops who had formed the exile synod, stripping them of their episcopal ranks.    The exiled synod retaliated by excommunicating the entire synod inside Ethiopia and stripping all of them of their ranks.  Then more recently, the disgraced Prime Minister of Ethiopia's first post-communist transitional government, Mr. Tamrat Layne, was freed from prison.  In an discussion that he had with the then U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia (and which was subsequently leaked by Wikileaks) Mr. Layne admitted to playing a leading role (at the direction of former Transitional President and later Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi) in forcing the removal of Patriarch Abune Merkorios, and his replacement by Patriarch Abune Paulos, giving justification to the arguments of the exiled synod.

Alarmed at these points of escalation, a group was formed that included prominent figures inside and outside the country to find a way to end this scism and a Reconciliation Committee was formed which has sponsored a series of summits between the two sides over the past few years with increasingly encouraging signs regarding recognition of the bishops named in exile and various other issues.

Then suddenly this past July, both Ethiopian Prime Minister Melse Zenawi and Patriarch Abune Paulos died within days of each other right when reconcilliation talks were showing encouraging signs. 

The two sides met in their latest round of talks last month in Dallas Texas in an effort to end the scism while at the same time the synod in Ethiopia has been reviewing and revising the laws governming the election of the Patriarch in preparation for choosing a new head of the church in the next few months.   The exiled synod formally asked that Patriarch Abune Merkorios be allowed to resume the Patriarchal throne as part of any reconciliation, while the majority of the synod inside Ethiopia favor allowing him to return as a "High Patron of the Church" with the title and rank of Patriarch, but being in effect "retired and pensioned" while a new Patriarch is elected to succeed Patriarch Abune Paulos.  Another option is now emerging somewhat between the two sides which allows Patriarch Merkorios the "High Patron of the Church" , and continued use of the title, but keeps the Patriarchal throne vacant and in the custody of the Locum Tenens (acting Patriarch) for the foreseeable future.  The election for a new Patriarch to succeed Abune Paulos would be postponed until after the death of Abune Merkorios in this plan.  The atmosphere at the talks in Texas were encouragingly warm and friendly, and the bishops representing the two sides celebrated Holy Liturgy together to close the meeting, which in effect recinded the mutual excommunications.  However, agreement on the position of Patriarch Merkorios and the election of a successor to Patriarch Paulos was not reached.  The two groups have decided to discuss the issue with their synods and will meet again in January to try and hash out an agreement.

We continue to pray for the unity of the church.

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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.)
royalcello

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Reply with quote  #2 
Why are they meeting here?  Not because the moderator of this forum lives here, I'm sure....
Ethiomonarchist

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The exiled synod is based in the U.S. and so they have had meetings here to avoid the appearance of interferance by the Ethiopian government.  Previous meetings were held in Northern Virginia, and Arizona.  The next summit will take place in Los Angeles.
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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.)
AaronTraas

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My prayers are with your Church, and also for greater reconciliation in the future among all legitimate sees.
Ethiomonarchist

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Amen Aaron, Amen!
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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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Reconciliation talks between the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Holy Synod in Ethiopia, and the Synod in exile have collapsed.  The major sticking point that the two sides could not overcome was the status of the Derg era Patriarch Abune Merkorios who stepped down from the Patriarchal throne in contraversial circumstances following the fall of the Derg regime and the rise of the EPRDF government in 1991.  Although for months the two sides had been negotiating the return of Abune Merkorios to Ethiopia under conditions in which he would continue to use his Patriarchal title and enjoy it's rank, but be treated as "retired", the death of the sitting Patriarch Abune Paulos in August changed the dynamic of the entire process.  The Synod in exile insisted that Abune Merkorios return to Ethiopia and resume the Patriarchal throne under the basis that his abdication was under duress and thus invalid while the Synod inside Ethiopia insisted on his return on a retired and pensioned basis arguing his abdication was valid, and that a new Patriarch should be elected to succeed the late Abune Paulos.  Efforts to bridge this gap, and to postpone a patriarchal election until the reconcilliation process was concluded have come to naught. 

As the talks have failed, the Holy Synod and the Patriarchal Electoral Committee in Addis Ababa have decreed that 5 Patriarchal candidates, narrowed from a much wider field of nominees, will be announced on February 25th, and that the new Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church will be elected on February 28.  The new Patriarch will be enthroned on March 3rd at Holy Trinity Cathedral. 


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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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The new electoral rules have eliminated all clerics over the age of 70 and all persons having non-Ethiopian citizenship from consideration.  This has eliminated virtually all of the Archbishops and Bishops appointed before the reign of Patriarch Abune Paulos, including several that were considered front runners for the post.
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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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The new Prime Minister of Ethiopia has been a catalyst for the restarting of reconciliation efforts in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.  Things have now reached a stage in which it now seems that the desired results could happen in the coming weeks.  Here is an article that I wrote for the Orthodox Cognate Page about the great progress made in recent days.

http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/news/an-end-to-the-ethiopian-schism-in-sight/

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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.)
jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #9 
Very good news and a very explanatory, excellent article, Ethio!
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'Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.' C.S. Lewis God save Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc.! Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!
Ethiomonarchist

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Nice to see you back on the forum Jovan my friend!!!

To add an appropriate monarchist element to this development, the committee that is mediating the reconciliation efforts (based in Europe) includes Prince Asfaw Wossen Asserate Kassa, head of the Selale sub-branch of the Shewan line of the Imperial Dynasty, and the co-ordinating committee inside Ethiopia is headed by Leul Ras (Prince-Duke) Mengesha Seyoum, Prince of Tigray and head of the Tigrean branch of the Imperial Dynasty.  That the heads of the two senior cadet branches of the Imperial family are involved in this effort is very significant.

__________________
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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