Recent Posts

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Oriental Orthodox Discussion / Re: Ethiopian Holy Synod in Exile
« Last post by kijabeboy03 on Yesterday at 10:01:52 PM »
I'm not sure you quite grasp the present relationship between the Ethiopian state and the Church. The current government is certainly much less heavy-handed than the Derg, but they are in charge. I grew up under the current government, the Church isn't free and the last two patriarchs were appointed at the government's directions. We were all rather surprised when they put a second Tigrayan (Abune Matiyas) on the patriarchal throne - no one thought the EPRDF would be so obvious about it, especially after letting a southerner stay on as the figurehead prime minister after Ato Meles' death.

And yes, despite not being recognized by the Coptic Orthodox Church, Abune Tekle Haimanot was a saint. Mengistu thought he would be an ignorant peasant, and instead he lived in asceticism and inspired the faithful suffering persecution. He may not have been recognized as patriarch, but hopefully he will be glorified someday.

Who are they?

Here is the story in a nutshell:

The Ethiopian Monarchy and the national (Orthodox) Church were overthrown by a military dictator named Mengistu Haile Maryam and a Marxist junta called the Derg.  This regime slaughtered thousands of nobles and churchmen, including the Emperor Haile Selassie I and the Patriarch H.H. Abune Theophilos.

The Derg disestablished the national Church, seized all of its lands, assets, and wealth, and fostered the growth of Islam and Pentecostal sects in order to weaken the Church's hold on the people.  Most of the leading bishops and priests in the country were liquidated or forced into monastic retirement.

Mengistu wanted a pliant patriarch he could manipulate, and brought a holy hermit named Abune Teklahaimanot to the Patriarchal Throne while Abune Theophilos was still alive in prison.  The Oriental Orthodox communion refused to recognize Abune Teklahaimanot as legitimate.  Ironically, Abune Teklahaimnot proved to be less cooperative than Mengistu imagined and openly confronted him when he carpet-bombed civilians, killed and imprisoned other churchmen, and committed other horrific crimes.  Mengistu then had Abune Teklahaimanot poisoned.

Mengistu then ordered the rump of the Synod (composed of collaborators like Abune Zena Markos and Abune Melchizedek) to put another collaborator - Abune Merkorios - on the Throne.  Abune Merkorios was a convinced communist who had close relationships with regional governors with much innocent blood on their hands.

When the Derg was overthrown, there were mass demonstrations in the streets calling for Abune Merkorios to step down.  He did, citing health issues and stress.  Abune Zena Markos then made a power play for the Throne, but this was defeated because the bishops the liberated Synod brought back from exile, imprisonment, and forced retirement weren't having it.  Abune Paulos, a prisoner of the Derg who had suffered for the Church, was elected instead.  Abune Merkorios later fled to the USA, as did Abune Zena Markos and Abune Melchizedek, where they formed an absolutely illegitimate body called the "Synod in Exile" that has never been recognized by any of the other Oriental Orthodox Churches, who all recognize the only legitimate Patriarch, which is presently Abune Mathias.  At first, Abune Zena Markos and Abune Melchizedek were not proponents of returning Abune Merkorios to the Throne.  Rather, they wanted Abuune Zena Markos on the Throne.  Once they realized that wasn't going to happen, they belatedly took up Abune Merkorios' cause and began using him as a figurehead for their machinations abroad.

Abune Merkorios is a puppet of those who surround him, chiefly Abune Melchezedek (now that Abune Zena Markos has reposed).  He wanted to step down a long time ago and return to Ethiopia and retire to a monastery (he is in ill health) but his handlers won't allow that because they are opponents of the present government.  Pray for him.

but I'm wondering how much they are recognised by the Oriental Orthodox communion.

Not at all. No canonical Oriental Orthodox body is in communion with them.  They were excommunicated and their bishops defrocked by the legitimate Holy Synod in Addis after consecrating new bishops here and perpetuating the schism, and all of the other Oriental Orthodox bodies have recognized this excommunication and refused to deal with them.

After the Derg collapsed, when Abune Merkorios was deposed and replaced with Paulos, his partisans insisted he was the only legitimate patriarch and formed the synod in exile. He is not recognized as the Ethiopian patriarch by other OO churches as far as I know. I doubt this has much effect "on the ground" in terms of what you'll see at an Ethiopian liturgy.

Your assessment is correct.  They are Orthodox in faith and practice, but non-canonical and not in communion with any other Oriental Orthodox Church.

I would be curious to know what the Synod in Exile's relationship is with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches to be honest.

They are not in communion with any canonical Oriental Orthodox body, all of which recognize the canonical church.

(Their Bishop of Seattle has warm relations with the Vashon Monastery under the ROCOR, although not intercommunion I'm sure due to the ROCOR's fundamentalism.)

Or maybe its the fact that the EO and OO are not in communion in general yet.

The schism is an internal issue within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Which can be traced directly back to the Derg's disestablishment of the national Church and the liquidation of its leading clergy.

The last Communist (Derg)-appointed patriarch (Abune Merqoriyos) was forced out by the current Communists (the EPRDF) in power and replaced by their own appointee.

Abune Merkorios was never recognized by any other Patriarch or Synod in the Oriental Orthodox Communion.  All of them recognized Abune Paulos, who was elected by a reconstituted synod including those bishops exiled or forced into retirement by the Derg.

Abune Merqoriyos accepted the situation until he was able to get out of the country, and then formed his own synod, which is a mix of pre-EPRDF bishops and newly consecrated bishops for the Diaspora.

Actually, he stepped down on his own citing ill health, nervous about the demonstrations in the streets calling for his ouster and the fact that he could be linked concretely and directly to regional governors who massacred civilians, and it could be substantiated that he had knowledge of such and still cooperated with them.

As far as I know the EPRDF hasn't let them set foot in the country, so the Synod in Exile exists only in the Ethiopian Diaspora.

Please don't make it out as if the so-called "Synod in Exile" is some heroic and legitimate resistance movement standing up to an oppressive government and a puppet Synod.  That's not at all the case.  The present government in Ethiopia isn't perfect, but they're not hostile to the Church as the Derg was, and the Synod is not composed entirely of collaborators, as was the case in the time of the Derg.

Also, let's be very clear that the "Synod in Exile" churches exist only in the diaspora not because the government forbids them, but because they majority of the people  in Ethiopia don't support them and never supported them.  Also, let's be very clear that the "Synod in Exile" churches are in the minority even in the diaspora, with the majority of the churches there belonging to the canonical Synod or identifying as "neutral" and commemorating no Patriarch at all.

I do know, however, that laypeople - even fairly prominent ones - go back and forth from Ethiopia without any issues communing there. Hopefully the issue will get resolved soon, but I doubt it'll happen till there are political reforms in Ethiopia or Abune Merqoriyos' reposes...

The latter is the only possibility, and even that's a stretch, since those who have created positions of power for themselves in exile (who are in fact laymen who have been defrocked by the legitimate Synod) would never accept the present legitimate Patriarch Abune Mathias.

So bottom line, Regnare, they are viewed as completely illegitimate by the entire Oriental Orthodox Communion.
Other Topics / Re: Random Postings
« Last post by nothing on Yesterday at 09:58:01 PM »

Best: Egg Nog

Worst: Christmas music.
Other Topics / Re: An legend is a year older
« Last post by TheTrisagion on Yesterday at 09:42:36 PM »
Happy fasting birthday, TheTrisagion.  I hope you have prayer, no fun, and some birthday fish.
Well, I got one of the three. I was at my in-laws.
Reviews / Re: MY BOOKS (Shameless Self-Promotion)
« Last post by Gebre Menfes Kidus on Yesterday at 09:29:21 PM »
(Just because I really need some help. Forgive me.)

What do you mean by this?

I didn't realize "Mystery and Meaning" was expanded into a 500pg book. It started out as a blog entry right?

Well, I actually wrote the book before I started the blog. I haven't updated the blog in about two or three years. I'm not very good at knowing how to use blogs. But I did expand the first book.

As for help, I just need to sell some books. They're both self-published which means that I've invested more in producing them than I've made in sales. This is really my only source of personal income, and my family depends on every book I can sell. We Orthodox writers, musicians, and artists really need to support and help each other. I know that my books are controversial and nobody will agree with everything I've written, but I do think people can find something of edification and interest within their pages.

Thanks for asking dear brother. Keep me in your prayers.  :)

Liturgy / Re: Why no hats?
« Last post by IXOYE on Yesterday at 09:28:10 PM »
FatherGiryus said:

Most clergy want to be as traditional as possible, which is often the hardest in communities coming from the tradition who have recently become accustomed to not following the tradition, and thus assume that it is the new tradition.


(I have two clergymen on my altar over 80, and I can't open or close the doors properly because they insist on 'helping,' mostly by standing in front of the door and looking puzzled... because they were trained in the era with no hats and no curtains).

I love the way you put that...
Other Topics / Re: An legend is a year older
« Last post by minasoliman on Yesterday at 09:13:56 PM »
Happy birthday!

Other Topics / Re: W.A.G.-word association game
« Last post by Gamliel on Yesterday at 09:12:53 PM »
Other Topics / Re: An legend is a year older
« Last post by nothing on Yesterday at 08:44:04 PM »
I love PBF, good pick kellz.
Religious Topics / Re: Panentheism in Orthodox Christianity
« Last post by Ainnir on Yesterday at 08:27:29 PM »
The god of Panentheism is finite: high on the finite scale of being, but not at the infinite level. The God of biblical Christianity is pure actuality with no unrealized potentialities.  He does not grow, learn, expand, or develop.  If Christians are worshiping anyone other than the classical God of biblical theism, than they are worshiping a pagan deity. Read the information in the links I cited.

So Christ isn't God, then?  He grew, developed, learned...

If one can fully conceive of the highest conceivable being, then that being is completely encompassed within one's own knowledge and experience, is it not?

And I'm curious about "no unrealized potentialities"...does this mean there are parallel dimensions?  Or are all potentialities fully realized in this one reality?

It sounds like you're saying that God is fully conceivable in all His aspects by the human mind and also immutable.  Which all well and good for us; He can't surprise us and we can make Him do and be whatever our minds please.
Other Topics / Re: An legend is a year older
« Last post by kelly on Yesterday at 08:20:05 PM »
Happy fasting birthday, TheTrisagion.  I hope you have prayer, no fun, and some birthday fish.

Make sure it's unseasoned tilapia.

No wonder you asked me if I could cook.

I think you dreamt that one.
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10