Archbishop Abune Yohannes has been appointed acting head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church after the arrest of his predecessor, Aba Tewoflos on charges of murder and corruption.
Archbishop Abune Yohannes has been appointed acting head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church after the arrest of his predecessor, Aba Tewoflos on charges of murder and corruption. The move heralds wide ranging reforms for the Ethiopian Church.
The Ethiopian Military government announced on Wednesday (18 February) that Archbishop Tewoflos had been deposed. On Saturday (21 February) Archbishop Yohannes, was installed.
The Government said that Archbishop Yohannes will be acting Patriarch until the election of a new Patriarch sometime later this year. At the same time the government announced new and tough measures would shortly be introduced covering church administration, that will benefit the Church's 12 million followers.
Little is known about the new Patriarch except that he is a priest from Tigre Province. However, he was given an impressive ceremony of welcome at his installation in the Holy Trinity Church, Addis Ababa on Saturday---although there were some reports that supporters of the deposed Patriarch demonstrated outside the church.
Specifically the government had charged that the former Patriarch, a close associate of the late Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, was responsible for the murder of an undisclosed number of clergymen who "were opposed to his misrule and despotic management."
The government has also alleged that his private bank accounts showed that they contained a total of four million Ethiopian dollars (one million pounds Sterling). The tax authorities are already suing the former Patriarch for nearly half a million Ethiopian dollars (about 125 thousand pounds Sterling).
The whereabouts of the former Patriarch has not been officially disclosed. However government, officials say that he is now under arrest. No announcement has been made about bringing him to trial.