Tag Archives: Ethiopian Church

New patriarch for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Abune Matthias.jpg

One head of Church leaves his ministry, another picks up a new call to serve God’s people on the same day. Abune Mathias, 71, was elected to lead Ethiopia’s 50 million Orthodox Christians, majority of the population. He is the sixth patriarch having received 500 of the 806 possible votes. His predecessor, Abune Paulos, was the head of the church since 1992 and died six months ago.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has had its own patriarch since 1959 when Pope Cyril VI allowed for the Ethiopian Church to move from the Coptic Orthodox Church and be self-ruling. The Ethiopian Church has apostolic origins.

The new patriarch was ordained to the Order of Deacon in 1948, and a priest-monk in 1955. Since 1971 a bishop. Abune Mathias has been serving as archbishop of the Church in Jerusalem and has lived outside of Ethiopia for more than 30 years.

Abune Mathias will be enthroned in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa, on Sunday, 3 March.

Ethiopia has some of the word’s oldest churches, sometimes called “cave churches,” rock-hewn, which are a World Heritage Site, in Lalibella in northern Ethiopia. They’d remind of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The way of sanctity lies open to you

St Justin de Jacobis.jpgToday the Pontifical Ethiopian College enjoyed time
with Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion to mark the 150th anniversary of the
death of Saint Justin de Jacobis (1800-1860), patron of the College. The
Ethiopian College prepares men for priestly service in their home country. Part
of the Pope’s address was devoted to holiness. On holiness the Pope said:

“Sanctity lies at the very heart
of the ecclesial mystery; it is the vocation to which we are all called. Saints
are not some exterior ornamentation of the Church; rather, they are like the
flowers of a tree which testify to the endless vitality of the lymph flowing
through it
. It is good to see the Church like this, in ascension towards the
fullness of the ‘Vir perfectus’; in continual, demanding, progressive
maturation; dynamically driven towards complete fulfilment in Christ.”

Here is a minute’s worth of a video clip on the event. These are the same points the Pope has made to the rest of the Church since he ascended to the papacy and it is the very theme that Father Julián Carrón has called those of us who follow Communion and Liberation to heed.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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