Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
The schism is sad, and I hate to see something like this happen, especially when all these things sound connected to the governmental changes that occurred in Ethiopia. Whatever the case may be, I hope the schism may end in the end. I personally wish that we may be more involved to begin a dialogue of unity between the synod in exile and the synod in Ethiopia. As it stands now, according to His Grace Bishop Youssef, the Coptic Church recognizes Abune Paulos in Ethiopia:
Amen Amen! Agreed! And I am quite sure that His Holiness Pope Shenouda III has been involved with these kinds of dialogue and discussions as HH has been involved with mediation between the EOTC and the Eritrean Tewahedo Church, and I pray for more fruits in the future. I fully respect HH the Pope's recognition of HH Abune Paulos, the Popes of Alexandria have always been the kingmakers of Ethiopia, and it is clear that God is continuing to cooperate synergetically in this same way as He always seems to have since Abba Selama and Abba Athanasius
The complication is that in reality, both sides of the argument have equally valid, equally real, and equally resolvable mutual grievances and a lot of it individually personality
driven. I feel from my heart (like Sis Hiwot has expressed) that God has sent His Grace to both camps, and this issue is really similar to the internal schisms over regional Bishoprics that have occurred in Ethiopia's past, and just as the Tewahedo Church has been blessed to continue in perpetuity, so too shall she continue!! In fact, we are officially titled the "Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church" precisely to sort of internal schisms and division that plagued our Church until EmperorYohannes IV
finally resolved centuries of debate and internal heresies
at the 1878 Synod Councils at Aksum and Boru-Meda. Surely then all those Christians who are under the banner of "Tewahedo" will then continue in God's Grace to manage, however history has shown that we Ethiopian Orthodox Christians are quite deft at the sociopolitical art-form of navigating
schism, division, and power-playing real politick.
At that time there existed three groups of doctrinal affinities which had been inherited form the past. The Tewahido doctrine was and remains the official teaching of the Church of Ethiopia. It confesses the unity of two natures, divine and human, in the person of Christ, without confusion and without separation: -- hence the name Tewahido which means “unity”. The second group was called Qebat, signifying “unction”, because it laid stress upon the anointing of Christ and not upon the incarnation of the Son. The third group was known as Tsegga Lej (Son of Grace) and supported the teaching of the “Three Births”: eternal birth of the Son from the Father, genetic birth of the Son from the Virgin Mary and birth from the Holy Ghost after the incarnation of Jesus. The Emperor Tewodros forbade the teachings of the Qebat and Tsegga Lej sects and all Christians were called upon to profess the Tewahido teaching. Any who failed to abide by this decree were severely punished, thus his order was generally accepted and theological disputation gradually died out. http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/english/ethiopian/perscution.html
Further, this schism is precisely why folks like Bro Gebre Menfes Kiddus and myself sincerely pray for the restoration of the Monarchy, just as Lot watched and prayed for Sodom as those souls hurt his very heart, my own heart is stung by this division, and I pray for the fullness of the Unity of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church! The Emperors are the Defenders of the Faith, maintaining the legitimacy and supremacy of the True Orthodox doctrines, and without an Emperor look at what has happened to Ethiopia both governmental and the Church? Personally, I believe that in God's Grace, the Emperors can continue to rally the people, and so I pray earnestly with all my being for such restoration, that in the process the divisions and conflicts within my Mother the Church might be resolved, but just like our earthly mothers, we have to accept the Church flaws and all, and love it with all our hearts AS IT IS, just like we love our mothers with respect, not judgment. An adult learns not to judge their parents for any perceived mistakes made in parenting because parenting is hard, and parents aren't perfect, and I give this same respect due to my mother the Church, to trust in Her in all matters, even if it is confusing or even hurtful.