Patriarch of Orthodox Tewahdo Church of Eritrea forced out of his post
Patriarch of Orthodox Tewahdo Church of Eritrea forced out of his post Saturday, 20 August 2005
The Patriarch of the Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Eritrea, H.H. Abune Antonios, has been fired (frozen) from his job
According to the letter dated 9/8/2005 (3/12/ 1997 EC - church calandar) that was smuggled out of the office of the Patriarchy, Abune Antonios has been dismissed from his responsibility for undisclosed reasons. He is allowed to lead a spiritual life but prohibted from playing any administrative roles in the daily operation of the Church. The letter stated that the congress of the Holy Synod that was held on 6-7 August, 2005 (11 Hamle 1997 EC Chuch Calendar) decided that Abune Antonios should be 'frozen'. The act of 'freezing' is prevalent in government circles. Normally, those who fall out of the government's favor are forced to leave unceremoniously and are made to face the humuliation that comes with the act.
Abune Antonios has dared to challenge the government from intrfering in the administration of the patriarchy via the government's elected official, Mr Yeftehe Dimetros. Officials in Orthodox Tewahedo Church knew this was coming as it was becoming clearer by the day that Abune Antonios was challenging the government on spiritual grounds.
The letter was signed by Abune Petros, the General Seretary of the Holy Synod.
Abune Antonios was elected on 5 March 2004 and enthroned as the third Patriarch of Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Eritrea, on 25 April 2004. It is to be remembered Pope Shenouda III presided at the consecration and enthronement in Asmara, together with the Holy Synod of the Eritrean Orthodox Church and a Coptic Orthodox Delegation that accompanied him.