CAIRO: Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, has announced that the crisis in the Ethiopian Church has likely been resolved, with the return to the fold of several members who had tried to secede over alleged discrimination.
The pontiff’s remarks came at the conclusion of his weekly Wednesday sermon. “We pray and thank our God that the crisis that the Ethiopian Church was exposed to showed signs of a solution,” said the head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church.
“Those who made a mistake and wanted to separate and distance themselves and divide the church have decided to return to their mother church,” he added.
“The Ethiopian Church is very important to us. It is our sister, and it is sufficient that the Coptic Church established it since the fourth century A.D.”
The weekly sermon was held at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Abbassia District in Cairo on Wednesday evening.
It also hosted the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, organized by the Egyptian Council of Churches.
The new agreement between an Ethiopian church delegation and the country’s prime minister has resolved the conflict, which earlier saw calls for more street protests.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church had called for demonstrations following the refusal of the Abiy Ahmed government to intervene to end the crisis that erupted in the Orthodox House.
However, an agreement reached between the two parties after discussions at the Ethiopian Republican Palace paved the way for a suspension of the demonstrations.
A court of first instance in Addis Ababa has now issued a ruling accepting the church’s lawsuit regarding the dismissal of dissidents.
The mother church’s initial efforts to isolate the dissident group was not supported by the Ethiopian government.
Authorities did not arrest the dissidents or prevent them from using church facilities.
Meanwhile, the pope also expressed sympathy for those affected by the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey.