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Author Topic: Should Haile Selassie be Canonized?  (Read 24212 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« on: March 21, 2009, 05:12:10 PM »

I am primarily looking for opinions on this matter from other Ethiopian Orthodox Christians:

In my efforts to spread the Orthodox Faith amongst Rastafarians, the biggest obstacle is the issue of His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I. Many Rastafarians worship Haile Selassie as Christ Himself. We know that this is very wrong, and that Haile Selassie was deeply grieved when he discovered this. That is why he sent Abuna Yesehaq to Jamaica and the Western Hemisphere to proclaim the Orthodox Faith.

But I was wondering if Haile Selassie may someday be officially canonized as a Saint. This would enable Rastafarians to correctly vernerate him as a holy Saint while coming to true Christian faith and the proper worship of Our Lord Eyesus Kristos.

I have read and heard stories of Haile Selassie performing miracles as a child. The most popular story is one told of him drawing a picture of a colorful bird when he was about 3 years old. When he showed the picture to a Priest, the bird flew off the paper and into the sky!

I have also heard that Haile Selassie could recite the entire Scriptures by heart as a child, and that he told Priests holy mysteries that astounded them.

These stories are circulated amongst Rastafarians. But I have never read them or heard them from Orthodox sources, so I cannot vouch for their veracity. But if they are true, then this would certainly be one of the criteria fulfilled for Sainthood.

I am very interested to know what my Ethiopian Orthodox brothers think about this.

Selam
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 07:21:12 PM »

Although I'm not an Ethiopian Orthodox, let me suggest something.

These stories are circulated amongst Rastafarians. But I have never read them or heard them from Orthodox sources, so I cannot vouch for their veracity. But if they are true, then this would certainly be one of the criteria fulfilled for Sainthood.

I would see the fulfilled criteria of Haile Selassie I's sainthood somewhere elese: in the way he died and the reasons of his death. There is an evident parallel between Haile Selassie I of Ethipia and St. Nicholas II of Russia. The latter was canonised by the Moscow Patriarchate as a passion-bearer, i.e. "one who faces his death in a Christ-like manner. Unlike martyrs, passion-bearers are not explicitly killed for their Orthodox faith, though they hold to that faith with piety and true love of God" (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Passion-bearer).

Let me quote an interesting interview:
Quote
Road To Emaus Journal: What do you still appreciate about Haile Selassie, now that you are an Orthodox Christian?

[/b]Michael Wilson (ex-Rastafarian, now Eastern Orthodox)[/b]: I appreciate everything I know about him. He brought me to the Orthodox Church. He gave the Ethiopian Church a presence in the world. He built churches, hospitals and clinics, and sent students to study abroad. In fact, the communist dictator who overthrew him, and was probably responsible for his death (it’s believed that he was smothered), was one of the students whom he had sent to study in America. Through the Emperor, the whole world knew Ethiopia. He spoke to the United Nations and was well-known as a Christian. That was the source of his influence on me, that he was a deeply Christian man.

RTEJ: He was probably the last openly Christian monarch we’ve had. Some of the European constitutional monarchs are Christian by persuasion, but don’t speak about it publicly as he did. Do you feel that there is a parallel here with the Russian Tsar Martyr Nicholas II?

Michael Wilson: Definitely. There was a great similarity in how the people of Ethiopia and Russia saw these rulers (how they really saw them, not how the communists portrayed them later), and how these two monarchs tried to protect their Christian countries. I remember seeing pictures of the Tsar and feeling that the two had the same spirit. I didn’t know anything about Orthodoxy, but I sensed the connection. It’s also important that they were both anointed kings murdered by a communist regime. It is easy for me to understand the veneration that Russian Orthodox feel for the last tsar and his family.
Source: http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_27/Songs_of_Freedom.pdf



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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 07:40:28 PM »

Although I'm not an Ethiopian Orthodox, let me suggest something.

These stories are circulated amongst Rastafarians. But I have never read them or heard them from Orthodox sources, so I cannot vouch for their veracity. But if they are true, then this would certainly be one of the criteria fulfilled for Sainthood.

I would see the fulfilled criteria of Haile Selassie I's sainthood somewhere elese: in the way he died and the reasons of his death. There is an evident parallel between Haile Selassie I of Ethipia and St. Nicholas II of Russia. The latter was canonised by the Moscow Patriarchate as a passion-bearer, i.e. "one who faces his death in a Christ-like manner. Unlike martyrs, passion-bearers are not explicitly killed for their Orthodox faith, though they hold to that faith with piety and true love of God" (http://orthodoxwiki.org/Passion-bearer).

Let me quote an interesting interview:
Quote
Road To Emaus Journal: What do you still appreciate about Haile Selassie, now that you are an Orthodox Christian?

[/b]Michael Wilson (ex-Rastafarian, now Eastern Orthodox)[/b]: I appreciate everything I know about him. He brought me to the Orthodox Church. He gave the Ethiopian Church a presence in the world. He built churches, hospitals and clinics, and sent students to study abroad. In fact, the communist dictator who overthrew him, and was probably responsible for his death (it’s believed that he was smothered), was one of the students whom he had sent to study in America. Through the Emperor, the whole world knew Ethiopia. He spoke to the United Nations and was well-known as a Christian. That was the source of his influence on me, that he was a deeply Christian man.

RTEJ: He was probably the last openly Christian monarch we’ve had. Some of the European constitutional monarchs are Christian by persuasion, but don’t speak about it publicly as he did. Do you feel that there is a parallel here with the Russian Tsar Martyr Nicholas II?

Michael Wilson: Definitely. There was a great similarity in how the people of Ethiopia and Russia saw these rulers (how they really saw them, not how the communists portrayed them later), and how these two monarchs tried to protect their Christian countries. I remember seeing pictures of the Tsar and feeling that the two had the same spirit. I didn’t know anything about Orthodoxy, but I sensed the connection. It’s also important that they were both anointed kings murdered by a communist regime. It is easy for me to understand the veneration that Russian Orthodox feel for the last tsar and his family.
Source: http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/back_issue_articles/RTE_27/Songs_of_Freedom.pdf





God bless you Michal. Thank you for these comments. I absolutely agree with you. I have read this article before, but thanks for bringing it to my attention once again.

I love this iconic picture of Eyesus and His Majesty! I have never seen it before. Where did you find it?

Selam
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2009, 07:50:49 PM »

I love this iconic picture of Eyesus and His Majesty! I have never seen it before. Where did you find it?

Here: http://www.geocities.com/jonahaugustin/. It's a kind of a Rastafarian / Orthodox Christian website.
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2009, 07:56:48 PM »

Yes, he should be canonized.
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2009, 08:41:39 PM »

One of my childhood memories is  how my mother loved and respected him...she would tell me stories about him- what a good man he was...
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2009, 09:43:54 PM »

I am in no position to say who should and who shouldn't be canonized, but based on ancient Christian history, I would be very uncomfortable in canonizing an emperor or someone who has imperial honor because it's usually a few good things he contributed with some added embellishments of miracles (whether we know them to be true or not, whether lacking spiritual significance and meaning or not) while ignoring some of the other, not so good qualities of these persons.

Nevertheless, I don't know much about the life of Haille Sellasie or St. Nicholas.  I'm judging based on what canonized list I've seen in both OO and EO sources from ancient times.

If the church had it in her authority to not canonize great people like Origen and Tertullian because of other bad things they've done or taught (or what some are trying to do to St. Augustine), why are we not so consistent with emperors?  By this, it seems to me canonization of a saint is a form of opinion, not fact (not saying all canonizations are opinions, but the inconsistency of canonizations makes it seem that way).

God bless.
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2009, 09:57:40 PM »

NOOO and NEVER ! The Rastas are Rastafarians,period. As a Tewahdo Orthodox Christian, without going into details , I know that the king is in NO POSITION WHAT SO EVER to be beatified, let alone be canonized as a Saint. Look at my avatar to know what a Saint of God looks like. The Ethiopian Tewahedo church would cease to be Orthodox the day it even entertains such ridiculous idea.

My apology,no offense intended to his admirers! Please do continue to hold him in high regard,but not as a Saint.

Elias
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2009, 10:02:17 PM »

But why Elias?  We canonized Constantine.  Why not Haille Sellassie?
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 07:48:35 AM »

The Rastas are Rastafarians,period.

If one difines Rasta(farian)s as the worshippers of HIM Haile Selassie I, then, yes, they are only Rastafarians. But if one difines them as the venerators of HIM Haile Selassie I, then why couldn't they be Orthodox Christians? An Orthodox Christian can venerate privately whoever he/she feels is right to be venerated.

Look at my avatar to know what a Saint of God looks like.

Who is he, BTW?
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2009, 10:42:31 AM »

HH Pope Kyrillos VI of Alexandria, the pope before our current one.  He was a man of peace, had great relations with other churches and government leaders, and was a miracle-worker.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8382.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10363.msg198536/topicseen.html#msg198536
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10155.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15779.0.html

God bless.
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2009, 11:48:25 AM »

While I don't have a problem with the canonisation of Haile Selassie in theory, I think the existence of the Rasta movement is a good reason not to canonise him.

Rastas worship Haile Selassie primarily because he was a black emperor, a descendant of King Solomon, he had various Apocalyptic titles (King of kings, lord of lords of Ethiopia), Marcus Garvey's "prophecy" prior to his coronation, etc. His virtues are secondary.

If he were to be canonised, it would be because of his Christian faith, his devotion to the Orthodox Church, his struggle for peace and equality, his death at the hands of atheist revolutionaries etc.

Canonising him would perhaps encourage more Rastas to convert to Orthodoxy, but I believe it would also discourage many Rastas from truly abandoning their idolatry after having done so..
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2009, 04:20:34 PM »

While I don't have a problem with the canonisation of Haile Selassie in theory, I think the existence of the Rasta movement is a good reason not to canonise him.

Rastas worship Haile Selassie primarily because he was a black emperor, a descendant of King Solomon, he had various Apocalyptic titles (King of kings, lord of lords of Ethiopia), Marcus Garvey's "prophecy" prior to his coronation, etc. His virtues are secondary.

If he were to be canonised, it would be because of his Christian faith, his devotion to the Orthodox Church, his struggle for peace and equality, his death at the hands of atheist revolutionaries etc.

Canonising him would perhaps encourage more Rastas to convert to Orthodoxy, but I believe it would also discourage many Rastas from truly abandoning their idolatry after having done so..

How do you know this??
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2009, 05:03:22 PM »

How do you know this??

Those are the things they normally cite when trying to prove his divinity.

Do you think they would worship him were it not for those things?
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2009, 06:06:39 PM »

How do you know this??

Those are the things they normally cite when trying to prove his divinity.

Do you think they would worship him were it not for those things?

I think they consider his virtues to be more important....
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2009, 06:11:14 PM »

Could someone post a link to a good biography of His Imperial Majesty?
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« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2009, 06:18:26 PM »

I think they consider his virtues to be more important....

But the Rasta belief system is based on the idea that His Imperial Majesty was God incarnate. There have been many virtuous men, but Haile Selassie is worshipped because of his supposed divinity. Virtue alone is not enough to claim someone to be divine.

Likewise, we do not worship Jesus Christ simply because He was a good Man, or a great Teacher, but because He is the living God.

The Saints, on the other hand, are recognised as such precisely because of their great virtue, however it manifested itself. Consequently, the Christian who venerates Haile Selassie as a saint will have a very different approach to the Rasta who worships him as God, even though both might see in him the same virtues.
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2009, 06:23:57 PM »

The Rastafarian worldview is very diverse, but here are some of the essential foundations upon which all who identify themselves as "Rasta" agree:

1. The esteem, value, and importance of His Majesty Haile Selassie I's words, deeds, virtues, and historical significance.
2. A biblically based morality.
3. Respect for LIFE.
4. Social Justice.
5. Peace and nonviolence.
6. Divine Judgment.
7. The Brotherhood of humanity.
8. The importance of African heritage and culture.

Now within this framework there exists diverse views and lifestyles. Some worship Haile Selassie as God and will not accept anything or anyone that tries to diminish his divinity in their eyes. But many Rastas today (maybe most) see Haile Selassie as a "manifestation" of Christ. And many Rastas are baptized members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and view His Majesty as the great Defender of the Faith that he was.

Rastafari is less a religion than a way of life and a set of moral principles that are applicable to Christians and non-Christians.

Here is an excellent Rastafarian website that is devoted entirely to leading other Rastas away from idolatrous Emperor worship and to the true worship of Jesus Christ. I am a member of this group, and I think you may find it very interesting. It's free to join.
www.fulfilledrastafari.org

Selam 
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2009, 06:28:28 PM »

But many Rastas today (maybe most) see Haile Selassie as a "manifestation" of Christ.

I don't understand.  What does that mean?
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2009, 06:31:40 PM »

Could someone post a link to a good biography of His Imperial Majesty?

I wrote a brief biography about H.I.M. a while back, but unfortunately it is saved on floppy disc and I am unable to access it on to this new computer. But I will try to get it working and post it soon. In the mean time, try this link:

http://fulfilledrastafari.ning.com/page/about-him

I will also try to ask my Priest about this matter very soon. I'm sure he will be able to shed some light on the subject.

Selam
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2009, 06:36:24 PM »

I don't know much about this subject, so shouldn't be speaking, but it seems to me he has become the object of idolatry,which is very sad...
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2009, 06:41:52 PM »

But many Rastas today (maybe most) see Haile Selassie as a "manifestation" of Christ.

I don't understand.  What does that mean?

Some see him as God.

Others see him as a manifestation of God, that he is so divine in character and virtue that he is representative of God or that the Spirit of God fills him completely. Rastafarians will sit and "reason" about what this means for days, so I can't really describe it. But since coming to Orthodoxy (mind you, I never worshipped Haile Selassie), I see in this a similarity with the doctine of deification.

Yet other Rastafarians (such as those in the EOTC) see Haile Selassie as a divinely anointed King who is worthy of emulation and veneration.

I have stated it like this: Haile Selassie was not God; and Haile Selassie was not "just" a man. I will always love and venerate him, because without his teachings and example I would have never discovered the beautiful Orthodox Faith. And I think all Rastas who have come into the Church feel the same way.

Selam
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« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2009, 06:46:35 PM »

I don't know much about this subject, so shouldn't be speaking, but it seems to me he has become the object of idolatry,which is very sad...


You are correct. Those who continue to worship H.I.M. as God are guilty of idolatry. This is sad. It made Haile Selassie very sad when he learned that people were worshiping him. That's why he sent Abuna Yesehaq to Jamaica and the West to esatblish the Orthodox Church and lead these people out of the error of idolatry and into the Light of Eyesus Kristos.

This is one of my Christian callings, to continue to promote the true Orthodox Faith of His Imperial Majesty amongst Rastas who are still in idolatry.

Pray for me.

Selam
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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2009, 07:11:51 PM »

That's a very worthy calling, Gebre, and may God help you in this! What you have said about Haile Selassie only makes me respect him more. It sounds like he was a godly man, and I would like to know  more about his life.
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2009, 12:31:24 AM »

I've said elsewhere in the forum that the reality of Theosis, at work in the life of every Orthodox Christian, is a better explanation for the virtues and piety of His Imperial Majesty than the misintepretations of those who proclaim him as the second coming of the very same person of Yesus Kristos.  Clearly, no Orthodox teach that His Imperial Majesty is the second coming of Christ hypostatically.  Whether the church canonizes him for the people as a very specific example of sainthood is really up to Ethiopians, who actually bear witness to his life.  I hope more Ethiopians respond to this thread and tell us about their Atsie.  The more Ethiopians tell us about themselves, including their Atsies and their relationships with them, the better.  I personally hold him in very high regard after reading both volumes of his autobiography and most of his speeches.  When I have shared his speeches with my family members who descend from African slaves in the USA, they greet his words with much enthusiasm and find inspiration and support for their Christian faith.  In contrast, I have found that Ethiopians don't always hold him in high regards, and he is a controversial figure - even for some a representation of division and injustice.  May God heal the conflicts that divide all Africans and all people.

Here's a speech given by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie to bishops gathered for The Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches hosted in Addis Ababa in 1965:

Quote
Opening

Venerable and Holy Fathers. On this occasion when you Venerable Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches are assembled together in our capital city, it is appropriate to demonstrate our joy by singing with the Psalmist, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity" (Ps. 133: 1)

The Unity of the Church, as Your Holinesses well know it, is the will of God and ought to be an inspiring example to all men. It should always be a help and not a hindrance to the unity of men of different religions.

As church history testifies, the church fathers, from the Apostolic period up to the Third Council (4th century A.D.), did hold Councils to formulate the doctrines of the church and to draft rules of church administration.

It is with the hope that your meeting will contribute in a significant way to the unity of the Church, and indirectly to the unity of all men, that We have invited Your Holinesses and Venerable Fathers to our capital city.

Today not only the church, but also the political powers of the world are frequently meeting, leaving their differences aside, to tackle common problems, and find ways and means for the achievement and preservation of world peace. The church should not overlook this great task because she is the origin of peace and fraternity.

Our own Church is as ancient as our faith, and her history is replete with accounts of the unswerving faith of our people, the inspiring heroism of our martyrs, the Holiness of our saints. The history of our nation has always been closely related to the history of our Church. and the Church has been both the rallying point and the inspirer of our national unity.

Christianity has flourished in Our country, keeping its original features and character through the centuries. As a nation we have a great debt to the church for our cultural heritage.

Ethiopia has been from ancient times well known for her hospitality, and this is not the first time she has welcomed holy fathers like yourselves. From the 4th century A.D. onward monks and saints have come from Egypt, Syria and other Christian countries to Ethiopia and have been received with high honour and great respect. To mention only a few among those who are canonized in the Ethiopian church the Nine Saints who came from different countries of the Middle East and Abune Gebre-Menfus-Kidus are examples. These holy fathers, preaching and establishing monasteries in various parts of Our country have greatly contributed to Ethiopian Christianity. Therefore, many churches and monasteries are dedicated to them in undying memory of the spiritual services which they rendered to our country.

Ancient Ties

In ancient times, when the Faith of the whole Church was one, Our country had the closest relations with the Emperors of Christian Byzantium. At the time when several Christian peoples in the North became subservient to non-Christian powers, our country gladly provided asylum to thousands of Christian refugees. It had equally given asylum from religious persecution at an earlier date to the followers of the founder of Islam. Only when our own immediate neighbours ceased to be Christians did our contacts with our fellow-Christians in the North and East become difficult to maintain.

Ethiopia, an island of Christianity, has made her own distinctive contribution to the Christian faith; for, ever since her conversion to Christianity she has remained faithful, her age-old ties with the Apostolic church uninterrupted. For this reason she is universally renowned as the faithful daughter of St. Mark of Alexandria. The opportunity we have today to discuss our common interests and problems together is the fruit of that ancient unity. To defend the faith and to preserve our ancient ties with your respective countries, our fathers the Emperors of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people have exerted great efforts all through our history. We are grateful to all of them.

It is therefore with great joy that We welcome Your Holinesses to Our land and to Our Church. Your Holinesses bring with you sacred memories from the ancient past. Your presence bere is a pledge and token of the desire of all Christians to be one.

Ever since We ascended the historic throne of Ethiopia, We have considered it Our duty to call for a meeting of the churches who belong to the same fold. We were praying to God for His help in achieving this holy purpose, so that He may grant it to us to see this event. In ancient times the Byzantine emperors used to summon the councils. Our sincere wish from the very beginning was to see these churches meeting to discuss their common interests and decide on their common problems. This wish is in actual fact fulfilled today, and We are happy to witness it. Therefore, We thank Almighty God first because He has enabled Us to properly fulfil Our clear duty, and secondly, because Our long cherished desire has now met with fulfilment. Henceforth the matter will demand the spiritual unity and hard work of Your Holinesses. For strength can be achieved through unity, and success is the fruit of co-operation. There is no doubt that work done through a co-operative spirit shall meet with success. Christ affirmed:

    ". . .That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my father which is in heaven." (Math. 18: 19)

Restore Contact

For centuries past our Orthodox Churches have been without contact. Perhaps that which still divides the two groups is a matter of some importance. Perhaps it is not. In any case. we live in a time when even political differences are discussed around the conference table and peaceful and amicable solutions sought by all. The Church can afford to do no less.

Our age is characterized by notable advances in the sphere of communications, and is therefore rightly termed an age of unity and of coming together. In this connection We recall the noble efforts of Archbishop Nathan Soderblom of Sweden who took the initiative for the "Universal Christian Conference" which met in Stockholm as long ago as 1925. We have also followed with keen interest the deliberations of the Ecumenical Council held last November in Vatican City under the spiritual leadership of Pope Paul the Sixth of Rome.

This Conference may not be able to come to final conclusions here and now. Yet it behoves the leaders of the Churches to begin to seek ways and means of reconciliation and collaboration.

Seek Unity, Peace

As noted in your agenda, you are to consider the problem of peace, because the world today is facing a great dilemma: the catastrophic weapons which are the result of human ingenuity, menace the world to the point of annihilation, and the human race is more than ever in need of the prayers and support of the Church. In this fact we have another ground for co-operation with all the Churches of the world. As the followers of Christ let us not forget how often our cause has suffered through disunity.

We would like to refer in conclusion to the question of social welfare in the modern world. For a country can achieve much more in this field if supported by the church. The will of God will be realized and humanity can achieve progress in both the spiritual and material fields in a healthy society.

We consider it a great blessing to Us and to Our people that Your Holinesses have come to bless our land with your sacred presence. Our people and Cur Church rejoice to welcome Your Holinesses in our midst.

Holy Fathers, as the spiritual descendants of the Apostles of Christ you have an eminent responsibility, which responsibility would include the improvement of the relations of laity with clergy and of church with society.

We hope and trust that God will guide the discussions here according to His will and that His power will assist Your Holinesses in finding common solutions to common problems in the spirit of amity and concord. May God who helped the 318 Fathers of the council of Nicea enlighten and help us all.
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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2009, 01:34:50 AM »

Thank you Eleos for your excellent post above. I agree completely with your comments. Thank you for posting this important speech of His Majesty. The more his timeless words go forth today then the better the world will be.

Selam
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2009, 02:10:22 AM »

I know that my Patron Saint - St Gebre Menfes Kidus - had Lions eat the dust of his feet. Check out this picture of Haile Selassie. I'm not using this as any evidence of his Sainthood, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/africanorthodoxchurches/photos/album/230734481/pic/431265385/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc

Selam
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« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2009, 02:21:18 AM »

For some reason when I click on the above link, I don't get a picture.  Is there some way you can just copy and paste the picture?
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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2009, 02:31:01 AM »

I think the link you just gave was to a private yahoo group and we can't see any pictures unless we belong to it.  Could you find the same picture somewhere else and link it?
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« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2009, 03:59:52 AM »

For some reason when I click on the above link, I don't get a picture.  Is there some way you can just copy and paste the picture?

Sorry about that. I tried to copy and paste it, but it didn't let me do it. Here is the site (a good site too) where I found the picture. It is free to join. Then just click on "Photos" and you should be able to find it easily. There are 3 or 4 pictures of H.I.M. with a Lion. The one I was trying to post shows a Lion licking the ground next to his feet.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/africanorthodoxchurches/

BTW, maybe I was doing it wrong. I was able to copy and paste the picture into my Word files, but I couldn't paste it here. Is there a certain way to do this that I may be unfamiliar with?

Selam
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« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2009, 07:38:44 AM »

Haile Selassie's 1936 address to the UN following Il Duce's ruthless invasion of Ethiopia http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/selassie.htm
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« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2009, 08:50:28 PM »

If one difines Rasta(farian)s as the worshippers of HIM Haile Selassie I, then, yes, they are only Rastafarians. But if one difines them as the venerators of HIM Haile Selassie I, then why couldn't they be Orthodox Christians? An Orthodox Christian can venerate privately whoever he/she feels is right to be venerated.

The Rastas are free to venerate whoever they want.That is not my point. I do have immense problem to call them the followers of the true Orthodoxy: when they worship a former Emperor as black incarnate of Melchizedik or Christ, a devine being whose deposition from the throne and presumed death they had rejected as deception, but beleive that he is still around and will soon free the faithful from whatever bondage they find themselves entangled; when they consider the use of 'Ganja' as a religious sacrament that heals the soul and body.

Quote
Who is he, BTW?

As to the identity of the Saint in my avatar , by the way, if you look carefully at my avatar, you will see a figure of a tall man, that is the great martyr St Mina who miraculously appeared when the photo was taken; I strongly suggest to you to visit those links that Mina provided. I myself have been freed from my improbable difficulties after I prayed for his intercession and saw him in a dream.Although not yet canonized, he is an amazing Saint who cares and responds swiftly. May the Lord be glorified in his Saints.

I would like to add the following links for anyone who is interested.

1) His Biography in English - http://zeitun-eg.org/stcyril6/enbio.zip  ( you wont stop,once you start reading)
 
2) Movie about his life: http://tasbeha.org/mp3/Videos/Saint_Videos/HH_Pope_Kirollos_VI.html

But why Elias?  We canonized Constantine.  Why not Haille Sellassie?

Mina,

There is no way whatsoever for me to see a comparison between Haile Selassie and St Constantine the great.For starters, St Constantine is sometimes referred as the 13th apostle who presided over the Council of Nicaea that gave us the Nicene creed. Unlike Haile Selassie, St Constantine was not born into christianity,but yet he managed to abolish paganism and established Christianity as state religion over the Roman Empire. There is nothing out of the ordinary that Haile Selassie did for the Oriental Church as a whole that would qualify him as a pious servant of God. However, I would like to hear your view as to why you think, we should equate him to greats like St Constantine.



If he were to be canonised, it would be because of his Christian faith, his devotion to the Orthodox Church, his struggle for peace and equality,

Ortho11, while I do agree with some of your points on the Rasta philosophy, I would like to know how you would define the emperors struggle for 'peace and equality'?You also have mentioned about him being virtuous.I shall be grateful,if you'd  list some of his virtues.

Elias
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« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2009, 09:46:54 PM »

One thing that amazes me about His Majesty is his writings, speeches, and words. Apart from the Holy Scriptures and books of the Church, I have never read anyone's writings with which I totally agreed. But I have yet to read anything written or spoken by His Majesty that contradicted Scripture or the teachings of the Church. I have never read anything that His Majesty said or wrote that conflicted with my spirit or my Christian beliefs. I know of no other person about whom I can say the same.

Another thing that makes him worthy of great admiration and respect is his missionary and evangelistic efforts. He sent Abuna Yesehaq to those of us in the Western hemisphere who were drowning in the errors and heresies of Catholicism, Protestantism, certain segments of Rastafarian belief, and other erroneous "christian" sects and cults.

Also, consider the fact that this man unapologetically ruled his nation according to Christian law and Orthodox custom. To me it is a miracle in itself that Ethiopia was able to withstand the various satanic assaults levied against it during his lifetime. Fascism, Islamic invasions, colonialism, and communism all tried and failed in their efforts to destroy the Orthodox Christian Faith of the faithful Christian people of Ethiopia. And His Majesty was the vanguard of the Church and the Defender of the Faith.

Small in stature and humble in speech, Haile Selassie's words and example offer us the true spiritual substance that revolutionaries, politicians, and false prophets so desperatley lack. His Majesty was always pointing us to Eyesus Kristos, to the Holy Cross, and to the Orthodox Faith. What greater work is there for a man to do than this?

Whether he is canonized or not, this much I know:

1. I will never worship him.
2. I will always love him!     

Perhaps our Orthodox brother Bob Marley said it best:

"Give us the teachings of His Majesty; we don't want no devil philosophy!"

Selam
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« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2009, 11:49:53 PM »

Mina,

There is no way whatsoever for me to see a comparison between Haile Selassie and St Constantine the great.For starters, St Constantine is sometimes referred as the 13th apostle who presided over the Council of Nicaea that gave us the Nicene creed. Unlike Haile Selassie, St Constantine was not born into christianity,but yet he managed to abolish paganism and established Christianity as state religion over the Roman Empire. There is nothing out of the ordinary that Haile Selassie did for the Oriental Church as a whole that would qualify him as a pious servant of God. However, I would like to hear your view as to why you think, we should equate him to greats like St Constantine.

What makes you think I think St. Constantine is great?

I have been not impressed with his history after reading more about him.  His mother is more worthy of veneration, but he is worthy of criticism.

He did not abolish paganism, but he allowed freedom of religion.  He paid for all expenses of the council of Nicea, and aided his mother on the search for the Cross.

Nevertheless, he also executed most of his family for suspicion of treason, regardless of what Nicea decreed, accepted Arianism and made St. Athanasius (the TRUE 13th Apostle) a fugitive, even confirmed false charges against him as if he was disturbing the peace of the empire, and only allegedly repented of all these sins at his death bed, and did not even, allegedly, decide to become baptized until his death bed, by a questionable bishop.

Oh, and of course, let's add a "miracle" to at least make his canonization look valid, like taking the sign of the Cross as an aid to war.

So, I personally have seen that it that no Byzantine Emperor is worth canonization.  Nevertheless, I know God is merciful.  If he has inspired people, and he is indeed a saint, then I hope he will forgive me for criticizing his many sins and the suspicions of which waiting to be baptized until the end of his life.  I hope he understands.

It is why I don't find any emperor worthy of canonization.  However, I don't know the life of Haille Sellassie.  Perhaps, he is more worthy than St. Constantine the "not so" great.

So I ask again.  Why do you think Haille Sellassie is not worth canonization.  The Church found it in her wisdom, somehow, to canonize St. Constantine.  What makes Haille Sellassie different?  He convened an OO council in 1965.  He defended OO faith and helped fund theological seminars, which was taught by excellent Indian Orthodox theologians like Fr. Paul Varghese (the late HE Metropolitan Paulose Mar Gregorious) and the late Fr. VC Samuel.  He also tried to end the heresy of worshiping him.  Apparently, there are stories of him doing miracles.  What makes him any different from St. Constantine, if not better (one could say he died a martyr)?

God bless.
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« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2009, 01:18:28 AM »

Peace all,

Personally I doubt that His Imperial Majestly the late Haile Selassie I will be cannonised as long as the Rastafarian movement continues to worship him as a deity. Such an action could well be used by them to promote their false teachings.

That being said, as HIM was clearly martyred I believe that eventually cannonisation will occur and I would be glad should God grant me life to see that day.

Pray for me please and for the unity of all.
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« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2009, 11:22:40 PM »

Greetings Brothers & Sisters...

I hope that the Great Fast is a blessing to you!

I really apologize for joining this topic so late, but I really want to make a comment.  This thread is so long that I was not able to read everything and I'm sorry if I repeat any information that was previously stated.

If ANYONE is familiar with the history of the ETHIOPIAN KINGS, they must know that there were RIGHTEOUS & HOLY KINGS.  The PERSON, the READER, the FAITHFUL must also know that ATSE NA'OD [Ambesa Seged?] was the LAST KING TO BE CANONIZED IN THE ETHIOPIAN/ERITREAN ORTHODOX TEWAHIDO CHURCH. He was the father of Atse Lebne Dingil.

There were great kings, emperors after Atse Na'od, but no one can say that they were saintly.  There is a tradition in Traditional Ethiopian Scholarship (I am not a traditional Ethiopian scholar) that says, "After the year 6,999--that means 1, 499 years after the Incarnation and Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, there will be no righteous one..."  It means that, in the latter years of creation, before and during the era of the False Messiah, there will be VERY FEW RIGHTEOUS. 

We know at the time of the False Messiah, the Saints will come and preach against him and many will become saints, while many lose their soul, but that saying (as I mentioned before hand) is trying to express the lack of righteousness amongst the latter people--those who are nearer to the era of the False Prophet.

This subject has nothing to do with Rastafarians or those who admire His Majesty Haile Selassie I.  Haile Selassie I, with all do respect to his blessed soul, because I love him, lived in luxury.  His Majesty Haile Selassie I did not die a poor king, God rest his soul...

The RIGHTEOUS KINGS, retired to monasteries, gave their crowns as charity and preached among the rich and the poor.  They shunned the luxuries of this world and fasted with prayer...Atse Yohannes IV was a great king, a Defender of Christianity, to the point they called him 'abba/father'.  He defended Ethiopia and lost a lot of money for the sake of the Ethiopian Churches and even other denominations in the Holy Land--never canonized. 

There is a great book, KNOW JERUSALEM, written by the first Ethiopian archbishop of the Holy Land, Abune Philippos.  He highly defends HIM Haile Selassie I and credits him for the efforts and achievements accomplished, but even Abba Philippos did not suggest such a thing. 

Those who know about Haile Selassie I appreciate him, but do not classify him as the rastafarians do or suggest that he should be canonized.  Her Majesty Empress Menen was just as great or even greater.  She was a lover of the Church and encouraged His Highness more than anyone...

What about those great Ethiopian desert fathers, monks and nuns, or those who were martyred in Ethiopia during the time of invasion?  What about their canonization? 

We judge Jon Hoi with a righteous judgement, because He inspired many, but canonization is a very serious and notable level of consecration. 

One last thing: the titles of His Majesty are inherited titles of the Ethiopian emperors since the era of Menelik I (those who claim Solomonic lineage, that is)...meaning King of kings, Lord of lords, King of Tsion, Lion of Judah, etc. These were the titles of David, King of Israel and Solomon, King of Israel and king of Tsion [because the Ark rested in Mt. Tsion, Jerusalem]. 

Thanks for letting me post my opinion.

haileamanuel
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« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2009, 12:33:26 AM »

Dear HaileAmanuel,

While I may find such kings in the Ethiopian history past as exemplary and worthy of veneration of sainthood, I would still question, assuming that we may find the best of intentions in St. Constantine, why still shouldn't Haile Selassie be canonized.  St. Constantine too died in royal comfort.

At the same time, did not Haile Selassie get locked up and suffer or possibly killed?
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« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2009, 06:23:24 PM »

Dear Mina,

Izayak habibi?
If Haile Selassie I is canonized, then almost of the Ethiopian kings, clergy and hermits during his time and prior to him must be canonized.

There is something to be understood about the Ethiopian royalty: The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (including the Eritreans) was (98% of the time)responsible for electing the monarch, hence one of the titles, 'Elect of God'.

We are not refuting or denying the contributions of Haile Selassie I to the Church or Ethiopia, but as I stated previously, his wife Empress Menen has every right to be called greater than he. Her Majesty was the 'strong shadow' that inspired him. Yes, Haile Selassie I was murdered and confined, but how can we say that this is martyrdom? We understand that his murder was under the influence of politics [in order that the monarchy would not reemerge].

Why is it not suggested that HH Abune Theophilus, HH Abune Basilius or HH Abune Tekle Haymanot be canonized? HH Abune Theophilus was murdered because of his great faith and Church leadership! I am not even sure if the holy Abune Petros was canonized; he too suffered death (at the hand of fascist Italians), because of his love for the Church.

Miracles performed at the hand of Haile Selassie I? In this case, the meaning of miracles must be defined: For instance, through negotiation with the Greek Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church obtained [or re-obtained] two of the Chapels in the Holy Sepulchre, while he was a regent. 

The only miracles that are known to be performed by Haile Selassie I are the ones written by rAStaFarians. Now, we know that the miracles performed by the Holy Pope Kyrillos VI were recorded by the faithful and even non-faithful (mUSlims), not those who worshipped him.

There are Ethiopians (and critics) who raise argument against His Majesty, because he taxed farmers during the time of famine...others say that he offered sacrifices (at a certain lake south of Addis Abeba) to pagan deities...others say that he murdered those (internally) that threatened his government...

Now, I am advocating 'idle talk' and insults to raise an argument...

I will say one last thing: it is very, very difficult to compare anyone to kings such as Atse Na'od, Atse Gebre Mesqel, Atse Zere Yaqob, Atse Kaleb; Abreha we Atsbeha, etc.

God bless His & Her Majesty's souls! We trust that the Church, the Abode of the Godhead will fulfill Her responsibilities through the grace of God...

Peace in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

haileamanuel
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« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2009, 08:00:40 PM »

I am grateful for the informed input on this discussion.

Personally, I trust this matter for the Ethiopians to decide themselves. All I can offer is how His Majesty's words and example have inspired me and led me to the True Christian Faith. I do not repeat the supposed miracles that are circulated amongst Rastafarians as fact. Only God knows. And neither do I accept as truth the negative propaganda circulated by His Majesty's communist enemies. 

The faithful Ethiopian Christians are in the best postition to answer the question of His Majesty's coronation. And I will not presume to know better than they.

But I will always keep a picture of His Majesty on my icon table!

Selam
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« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2009, 05:19:17 PM »

Slightly off topic, but I was wondering whether the Ethiopian Church had canonised anyone at all in recent years? When did the last canonised Ethiopian saint live?
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« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2009, 05:41:35 PM »

Slightly off topic, but I was wondering whether the Ethiopian Church had canonised anyone at all in recent years? When did the last canonised Ethiopian saint live?

I was just wondering the same thing.  Was Abune Petros officially added to the calendar?  He was a contemporary of His Imperial Majesty and has to have been one of the most Christ-like bishops who lived in the twentieth century.  His last act before being shot by a firing squad was to give a blessing.  How many people could do that?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10363.msg209599.html#msg209599
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« Reply #41 on: March 30, 2009, 03:51:26 PM »

Slightly off topic, but I was wondering whether the Ethiopian Church had canonised anyone at all in recent years? When did the last canonised Ethiopian saint livArada Giorgis Museum.  e?

I don't believe so...I think the last person to be canonized by the EOTC is Abune Habte Maryam [18th Century?] or Welete Petros [17-16th Century AD], or Semra Kristos [18th Century]...

If someone knows better, please correct me.

About Abune Petros, I am not sure, but I know in Addis, at the circle where one makes the left to go to Arada Giorgis (St. George's Church in Piassa), is the memorial of Abune Petros.  I understand also, that he was gunned-down in the same area.  There is another memorial (statue) of Him in the courtyard of Arada Giorgis.

Thank you and peace to all,

haileamanuel
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« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2009, 05:05:38 PM »

Given what I've heard about the approach of many Ethiopians to Holy Communion (hardly ever receiving due to unworthiness, etc.), there seems to be a great distinction made between 'us', who are profane, and that which is holy, and that no one living amongst us, in our times, however great, could be regarded as a saint because holiness is by definition 'other'?
(I'm thinking here of the mindset of those within the Church, not Her official teachings)


A generalisation obviously, but would you say this is right to some extent?
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« Reply #43 on: July 23, 2009, 05:22:32 PM »

Regarding posts 40 and 41, above, about Abune Petros, I just found this:

A Church built in the name of His Grace Abune Petros, the Ethiopian Martyr of Righteousness, inaugurated
 
 
Translated by Derib
 
A Church and commemorating obelisk built in the name of His Grace Abune Petros, the Ethiopian Marty of Righteousness, who was murdered by the Italians was inaugurated on Ginbot 1, 2001 E.C. (May9, 2009) by His Holiness Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the EOTC, Bishop of Axum and Echege to the See of Tekle Haymanot, President of the World Church Council and Honorary President of the World Conference of Religions for Peace,  and Ato Abadula Gemeda, President of the Oromiya National Regional State.
 
His Holiness, during the inauguration, said that, “In this world that passes, a person who has done an everlasting deed is always commemorated. His Grace’s righteous deed is also remembered by people and God. His Grace Abune Petros has become a great martyr in this world full of temptation. This obelisk erected in his name helps the generation remember the great deeds of His Grace Abune Petros.
 
His Grace Abune Kewstos, Bishop of North Shoa and Member of the Holy Synod, stated that  he was happy to see the completion of  the church and commemorating obelisk and thanked all those who contributed to the construction of the church, the Priest’s Training Center and the monk’s residence. He appreciated the cooperation of the Muslim community in Fiche town for their support ranging from giving sand for the construction   to erecting tents for the inauguration.
 
Ato Kedir Hassen, a Muslim resident of Fiche, who was attending the inauguration, stated that  His Grace Abune Petros gave his life not just for the Muslims and Christians but for all Ethiopians, and he was happy to celebrate the inauguration with Christian brothers. Ato Kedir said “His Grace Abune Kewstos has to be thanked because he allowed both the Muslims and Christians to participate in the construction.”
 
Higher government officials, guests and thousands of people from Fiche town and its environs attended the inauguration.


http://www.eotc-mkidusan.org/English/News/index.htm

If they are dedicating a church to Abune Petros, perhaps he is on his way to being added to the calendar?  Could it be he will soon be a saint?  I kind of hope he will be a saint on the calendar.  His example of courage is quite inspiring. 
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« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2010, 09:00:02 AM »

In my efforts to spread the Orthodox Faith amongst Rastafarians, the biggest obstacle is the issue of His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I.

Good job for you!

One thing you can say is that Rastafarians don't all have the same idea on Selassie, whether he was Christ, was divine, or just "good." I don't want to say something wrong, and know little about the Emperor, but you could say that Christianity offered him (and them) a way to become god-like and one with Jesus.

You could also talk to them about Bob Marley joining Orthodoxy where he cried for an hour.

Since they are nationalists, the best might be to tell them about the desert fathers, who are respected alot in Orthodoxy.
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