The Horn Times opinion box 3 March 2013
by Getahune Bekele, South Africa
The coronation or inauguration of this illegitimate Tigray high priest while the legitimate patriarch is still alive and well is an execrable abuse of our faith, unheard of in our long history.
Aren’t we Ethiopians the descendants of saints like Teklehaymanot, Lalibela and the beloved Christos Semra? Didn’t our forefathers shelter persecuted Saints like Aba Gebremenfes Kidus (Abo) of Egypt with heartwarming benevolence? Aren’t we the children of martyrs like Abune Petros of Fiche and Nibureed Kifle Marefia of Addis Alem Tsion Mariam monastery?
If we say we are, then why is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewaido church wobbling in three pieces after being handed down to us in one piece?
Is it fair on our Holy Fathers when we just fold arms and watch fierce TPLF wolves unmercifully devastating the flock, committing impious crime against the commander-in-chief of the rational and immortal host of heaven?
We have let down our legitimately elected Patriarch, His Holiness Abune Merkoreyos for the second time in 21 years by failing to prevent the tiny African Babylon, Tigray, from electing and inaugurating illegitimate patriarchs.
This is what some Ethiopians had to say when approached by the Horn Times Reporters….
“Yes an opportunity is afforded by divine providence for the exiled Holy Father to be restored back to his rightful place. However, his return is only good for the flock and the church, not necessarily for him. From prophet Ezekiel who lived in exile in Babylon to Apostles Peter, Paul, mark and others, they all died far away from their homes where they ministered. Even look at our own iconic disciples such as his holiness Abune Zena Markos who died and buried in the US; stamping the gospel with his blood. Am not sure though whether he aspires to that glory, but if you ask for my personal opinion, I want to see Abune Merkoreyos in Addis Ababa before I die. Abune Matias is the cardinal of Tigray republic, not our patriarch.”
Ato Tamrat Mekuria, an elderly refugee – Nairobi, Kenya.
“No compromise. We are ready to defend our church with our blood. If the regime wishes to avoid confrontation and merciless resistance to its rule, it must annul the result of the fake election and return the shepherd (Abune Merkoreyos) to his flock. Abune Matias is a war criminal. Less than 500 people attended his inauguration -that tells the entire story.”
Deacon Leselam Mekonnen- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Currently no one is feared by the always grumbling ruling minority junta like Abune Merkoreyos. The warlords will never allow him to return unless Ethiopians rally and show merciless resistance to the junta’s attempt of legalizing the election by hastily inaugurating Abune Matias. Orthodox Christians must join their Muslim brothers and sisters to stop the junta’s interference in religious affairs. The ruling warlords know the Holy Father is a living Saint with massive followers, an unstoppable political tsunami. The ball is in our court to make his return a reality.”
Words of a political analyst- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“The Holy synod in exile has declared his Holiness Patriarch Abune Merkoreyos as the legitimate leader of our church. We are fully backing our church and our Holy Father by calling up on all Ethiopians to reject the election and inauguration of another warlord by the unlawfully assembled criminal synod of Addis Ababa. We also like to remind all TPLF allied shameful Bishops and Aba Matias himself that they will be held accountable for the current terrible state of the church when the time comes.”
The Ethiopian community in South Africa spokesperson- Pretoria.
It all sound like we are Zealous to invent some sort of explanation for our failure to protect both the Holy Father and the Church.
…the real Jeremiah of our time Aba Merkoreyos, the supreme shepherd of more than 50 million souls, pious and ever worshipful; our symbol of Ethiopiawinet and a living martyr. A Diademed and resplendent son of the Ethiopian orthodox Tewahido church.
Despite the ruling minority junta’s ongoing drama of inaugurating Abune Matias, another warlord- in- white- tog patriarch, Millions who already rejected the election result back home, are eagerly anticipating his arrival 21 solemn years after he was banished into exile by the TPLF.
A gallant soul himself, an obdurate soldier of the spiritual realm who inspires the thronging crowd of the Diaspora Ethiopians by therapeutic teachings with the fervor of Ethiopiawenet, is still leading the Holy Synod in exile through all this turbulent times, as a reason, earning great respect and love from his spiritual children. The honor and sublimity accorded to him is simply immeasurable.
Like his forefathers the Apostles, in foreign land, the Holy Father has been tried with every kind of endurance the ripeness of age would not permit under normal circumstances. From suffering homesickness to the rigors of the harshness and roughness of living as a monk in different environment, to the one he used to back home. Ethiopians view his life in exile as heroic and divine perseverance in the face of strange and terrible difficulties.
It is a miracle that he survived all this years after being completely cut off from his people in Ethiopia and without him going to those ancient monasteries located high above sea level in craggy mountains of central highlands.
Described by those close to him as chaste and humble with tender and loving heart who always exalts mercy over judgment in matters concerning the faith, the fourth patriarch of the Ethiopian orthodox Tewahido church, his Holiness Abune Merkoreyos was willing and ready to return home.
He loves his people and his country so deeply that in 2005 when the minority junta massacred hundreds in Addis Ababa to put down the revolt against the late Meles Zenawi, the Holy Father was gripped with sudden pity. Immersed in deep sorrow, he went on a very long fasting period, refusing to be comforted to the extent that aides thought he was departing. For months, he earnestly and anxiously prayed for the distressed nation and for the populous to recover from the trauma of genocide
However, on the other side of the Atlantic, in Ethiopia, the man who was imbued with the evil spirit of killing, and treacherously put in charge of the church by the TPLF, the late Aba Pawlos was celebrating the bloody massacre as victory along with the likes of Abune Matias who is now officially the 6th patriarch of the church.
It is time for Ethiopian Christians to rise against Aba Matias and the TPLF warlords.
Abune Merkoreyos is patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Let’s join our Muslim brothers and sisters to fight injustice and bring down the minority junta.
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