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Letter from WCC general secretary to Ethiopian Patriarchs on the reconciliation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

In a letter addressed to His Holiness Abune Mathias I and His Holiness Abunä Merkorios, on 13 August, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), conveyed heartfelt congratulations for the reconciliation of the two synods and unity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church after 27 years of separation.

14 August 2018

Geneva, 13 August 2018

Your Holinesses,

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,[c] not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (1 Corinthians 5: 18-19)

Greetings from the World Council of Churches!

It is my immense honour to congratulate you both, on behalf of the ecumenical family, for the historic reconciliation that you have achieved within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

It is with great joy and pride that we welcomed the particularly joyful news of the end of the 27 years long schism that the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an ancient and historic Church experienced. This is a historic Kairos moment of jubilation and celebration not only for Ethiopians, but for the entire ecumenical family. The end of rivalry and the reunification of the “Addis Ababa Synod” and “Synod in Exile” is an inspiration to the entire Christian family.

The journey was long and arduous, but Oikoumene (Unity) won in the end. To God be the glory! The Almighty rejoices when His children are united, reconciled and healed. The House of God is stronger when we are unified in His abundant love.

The recognition of one Holy Synod with two Canonical Patriarchs is a historic development in Christian history, and lays the foundation for a stronger and peaceful Church where all her faithful are unified under the same common leadership, under the same household of God.


We are also rejoicing that the excommunications enacted against Archbishops consecrated before the schism will be lifted by the Holy Synod, and their names and dignity defended. As for Archbishops, Bishops and Chorbishops consecrated on either side after the schism, we are again rejoicing that the Holy Synod will accept them with the names they have received. This is a true moment of healing and reconciliation, preserving each and everyone’s dignity. A real Kairos moment.

The Holy Synod has a great task ahead in strengthening the Church further. We keep you in our prayers as you continue your inspiring journey of reconciliation and unity, and seek your prayers so that the Christian family can learn from your journey so that all may be one(John 17:21). We also pray for the faithful of your Church, so that they accompany you in prayers and deeds in this path of reconciliation, unity and Oikoumene.

I wish you, on behalf of the ecumenical family, prayerful good wishes. Please be assured of our continued prayers.

With every good wish for God’s blessings, and with our prayers.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary
World Council of Churches

Download : 18_8 Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.pdf