Why we are standing with Our Holy Father
- Why we are standing with Our Holy Father
Patriarch Antonious- the Third Patriarch of Eritrea.
Be patient and you will finally win, for a soft tongue can break hard
bones. (Proverbs 28:13)
A. The Synod and its legal Authority
The central pillar of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo religion is the
Patriarch. The Patriarch is the president, CEO, and the highest spiritual
leader in the church hierarchy. The Synod embraces the Holy Synod title
only in the presence of His Holiness (The Patriarch). The highest religious
authority of our church is the Holy Synod. The laws and centuries-old
traditions of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church validates that the
Patriarch must preside and bless all Synod meetings.
The Synod can not consider having a legislative and administrative mandate
without the presence of the Patriarch. Hence, removing the Patriarch from
the central role of the church negates the very essence of the Orthodox
In view of this, we ask the Bishops to follow and respect the position,
guidelines and instructions of the Father of the church-His Holiness
Patriarch Antonious, the Third Patriarch of Eritrea.
B. The Diocese and its role
The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church Diocese of North America was
established by willing participants of Eritrean churches in the United
States and Canada and with the blessing of the Holy Synod. These willing
participant churches formed a non-profit organization under the laws of the
host country. Each church is an independent non-profit organization with
its own by-laws and is established under the laws of the host state. Each
church conducts its day-to-day administration and is run independently,
responsible to its Board of Directors and its members.
The Diocese of North America is also a non-profit registered organization
under the laws of the State of Georgia , USA . While the spiritual law of
the Diocese is governed by the Holy Synod, the administrative activities
are governed by the By-Laws of the Diocese and State Laws Governing
The Diocese did not take its July 22 nd and Sept 17th decisions lightly as
the problem, which started with the Bishops disrespectful actions against
our Holy Father directly affected its own existence. Immediately after the
problem surfaced when the members of the Synod ganged up against our Holy
Father and voted illegally to remove him from his most important duties as
a patriarch, the Diocese has seriously evaluated the implication of these
illegal acts of the bishops.
The Diocese after:
Having consulted His Holiness Pope Shenouda of Egypt ,
Reviewing the By laws of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church ,
Researching the Cannon Laws of our Religion
Decided in its Washington - DC annual meeting ( 7/30/2005 ) and reiterated
in its Atlanta emergency meeting ( 9/17/2005 ) that:
Our leader is His Holiness Patriarch Antonious, and that we shall only obey
his instructions. In particular we shall not accept letters, directives or
instruction that does not bear his signature!
C. Our Plea
The current problem in our church is created in Asmara and it should be
solved in Asmara . As a result, we are appealing to the Bishops currently
roaming North America from city-to-city to follow the long standing
traditions and cannon of our church and to follow their spiritual
leader-His Holiness Patriarch Antonious. We are asking the bishops to lead
by example and show humility by obeying their superiors before they demand
any rightful respect.
The Patriarch has said of Abune Lucas and Abune Sinoda I did not send them
to America .
The current problem is internal to our church and must be resolved within
the Synod of the Eritrea . Abune Shenouda and Abune Lukas must stop the
unfounded attacks on the Diocese and its leadership. The Bishops' baseless
attacks have greatly saddened the followers of the church and are beneath
the dignity of any Bishop. To date the result of their smear campaign has
been to sow discord and division among the faithful.
The Executive Board of the Diocese
September 28, 2005
For more information visit our Diocese's website:- www.tewahdo.com