I just found this link with some history of the Ethiopian Church, some facts got my atention, I'd like to know if some of our friends can comment on this.
Original article here:http://www.dallasethiopianorthodoxchurch.org/about/church.htmAmong the notable missionaries Pedro Pais who reached Ethiopia in 1603. He lost no time in advertising the Church of Rome. He had brought Emperor Susneyos of Ethiopia; to the Catholic faith.
Pedro Pais ordered the people to kneel to him as representative of the Pope. Priests of the Ethiopian Church should be re-ordained by him and the whole population of the country was regarded as heathen if not rebaptized under the Catholic faith. Churches had to be reconstructed and altars were rebuilt in the Portuguese fashion.
How accurate was this? So the Latins dissobeyed the Papacy when they aid not to rebaptize any eastern christian? I didn't know the Latins would have that attitude, well they're Portuguese, that wasn't strange. Meanwhile Susneyos issued a decree; death to be the penalty for those who refused to agree with the Chalcedonian formula... revolt after revolt broke out... Such was the act of the Jesuits in Ethiopia. Susneyos died September 1632... He was succeeded by his son Fasilades, during whose reign the Jesuits left the country by order.
More than the rejection of the Chalcedonian formula, it could have been the rejection of the forced Latinization and intolerant attitude of the foreign power that invaded them? The mission of the Portuguese Jesuits had brought several formulas concerning Christology... There appeared a great controversy and division in the Church especially during the reign of Emperor Tewodros II (1855-1868). Qebat states that Jesus became a perfect man and a perfect God by the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the Jordan River and not upon the incarnation. Tsegga states three births; eternal birth, of the Son from the Father; genetic birth of the Son from the Virgin Mary, and birth from the Holy Spirit during baptism. Such doctrinal formulas died out by decree of Emperor Tewodros.
This is the strangest thing I've ever read. From what I've studied, I have never found any of thiese theories to be part of Roman Catholicism or Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. It would not surprise me if they came from a modern Charismatic Catholic or Pentecostal Protestant, but from a Portuguese of the 1700's it's unbelievable.
What do you think? Can you explain this to me? What would be the origine of these theories?
Did the portuguese presence have any visible influence in Ethiopian Orthodoxy? did it have a liturgical influence?
I read that in the North of Ethiopia, and in Eritrea, there is still a Uniate community, but from what I know they are more recent and are not related to the Portuguese intervention, and the new ones are not latinized and very close to Ethiopian Orthodoxy. How true is this?
I found this article which is about the Ethiopian Uniat Church:http://www.ethiopianreporter.com/eng_newspaper/Htm/No331/r331int.htm