News / Africa

Ethiopian Patriarch Dies

Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch Abune Paulos attends the opening ceremony of the first Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid, January 15, 2008. Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch Abune Paulos attends the opening ceremony of the first Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid, January 15, 2008.
x
Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch Abune Paulos attends the opening ceremony of the first Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid, January 15, 2008.
Ethiopian Orthodox Church patriarch Abune Paulos attends the opening ceremony of the first Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid, January 15, 2008.
Ashenafi Abedje
The leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abune Paulos, has died at the age of 76. No details of his death were made available.  He had been receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness.

Government spokesman Shimeles Kemal said a new leader will come into office based on what he called “the bylaws and canons of the Coptic Church.”

Abune Paulos studied at Princeton's Theological Seminary in the U.S. after receiving a degree in theology from Addis Ababa University.  He was arrested in 1974 by Ethiopia's military dictatorship.  Upon his release, Abune Paulos fled to the U.S., where he spent several years in exile.

He returned to Ethiopia in 1991 when Mengisu Hailemariam’s government collapsed and Meles Zenawi assumed power.  Shortly after, the patriarch Abuna Merkorios was dethroned under disputed circumstances.  The controversial process led to the election of Abune Paulos as head of the Coptic Church in 1992.  Abune Merkorios and his supporters went into exile, establishing a rival synod in the United States.  

Many credit the patriarch for championing the cause of the victims of the military regime. He presided over the funerals of Emperor Haile Selsassie in 2000, Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen in 1997 and Princess Tenagnework in 2004.  He also officiated at the funerals of the 60 former civilian and military leaders of the Imperial government in 1993, and the burial of Professor Asrat Woldeyes, the leading opposition leader, in 1998.

Detractors accuse Abune Paulos of being too close to the Meles government, and for failing to speak out when security forces storm churches and brutalize peaceful demonstrators.  He has also been accused of vanity in overseeing the construction of his own statue in Addis Ababa in 2010.

The office of the patriarch is expected to hold an emergency meeting Friday to finalize funeral arrangements.  It is not clear whether Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi - who has not been seen in public since June - will attend the funeral.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mg from: VA
August 20, 2012 2:06 PM
Interesting that you omitted that His Holiness Abune Paulos earned a Doctorate from Princeton University, was the first Ethiopian Bishop to join the WCC and as Patriarch is one of the seven current presidents of WCC as well.

This is information available to all. Fact that a journalist who is Ethiopian and Orthodox chose not to mention this is quite interesting...


by: Ethiopia4ever from: USA
August 17, 2012 2:04 PM
This patriarch is gone and no need to go back and talk about the evil things he did but generally i can tell you he is the worst patriarch i have even seen.

i hope you will post this if you are not a one sided person.


by: Daniel from: Florida
August 16, 2012 10:23 PM
It's wrong to describe Ethiopian Orthodox church as Coptic church. Ethiopian Orthodox church and Coptic church are sister churches. It's not a single church.


by: MTedros from: VA
August 16, 2012 4:34 PM
Thank you for the report. The writer of this article should have had it proof read by an official Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church clergy or official representative. The late Patriarch Bitsue we Kidus Abune Paulos was never the head of the Coptic Church (Coptic = Egypt). He was the head of the EOTC. In addition, its never wise to quote a government official regarding church cannons because it can cause mistakes such as stated above in second paragraph: “the bylaws and canons of the Coptic Church.” The EOTC is not the Coptic Church, therefore, EOTC has her own bylaws and canons.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid