Archbishop Abuna Theophilos was enthroned on Sunday (9 May) as Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
LS exterior Cathedral
MS Priests and Deacons waiting.
MCS Emperor Haile Selassie arriving and greeted by Deacons.
MLS Emperor ascends cathedral steps.
MS Patriarch (centre, white robes) ascends cathedral steps.
MCS Patriarch inside cathedral.
MCS Deacons singing.
CU another Archbishop reads.
CS Patriarch donning robes.
CU Members of choir
CU Visiting Church dignitary.
MCS Patriarch receives salutation from Emperor.
MCS Emperor fastening sash on Patriarch.
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Background: Archbishop Abuna Theophilos was enthroned on Sunday (9 May) as Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The ceremony was attended by Emperor Haile Selassie, Defender of the Faith under the Ethiopian constitution, who had earlier given his approval of the choice of church leader.
The new Patriarch was chosen by an overwhelming majority of the clergy and laity who make up the Church's Electoral College. He succeeds Abuna Basilios, who died last October after a long illness.
Patriarch Theophilos (his name is also written Tewoflos) is known for his liberal views. As Deputy Patriarch he has already been acting head of the Ethiopian Church for a number of years. He is the first Patriarch to be consecrated in Ethiopia since the Church attained autocephaly (independence) from the Alexandrian Church in 1951. Basilios was consecrated in Alexandria in 1959.
Ethiopia embraced Christianity some 1500 years ago, and claims 65 per cent of the country's 25 million people as believers. They are served by about 20,000 churches and 250,000 priests.
SYNOPSIS: The Cathedral of the Trinity, in Addis Ababa, where church leaders gathered on Sunday for the enthronement of a new Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Emperor Haile Selassie, who is defender of the faith under the Ethiopian constitution, was there to mark his approval of the choice made by the church's electoral college.
The electors had voted, by an overwhelming majority, for the former deputy patriarch, Archbishop Abuna Theophilos. He was acting head of the Ethiopian church during the long illness of his predecessor, the late Abuna Basilios, and is known for his liberal views.
The new Patriarch wore simple white robes as he arrived at the Cathedral for the majestic ceremony.
Inside the Cathedral, there were Patriarchs from the Churches of Alexandria and Rumania, the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church, and representatives from churches throughout the world.
The new Patriarch promised to exert all his ability to overcome secular forces that might work against the Orthodox Church. "I shall join hands with the universal brotherhood of Christians to meet these challenges, in a way that befits the Church of Christ", he said.
Finally, the new Patriarch, resplendent in crimson and gold, received the salutation of Emperor Haile Selassie, as the new leader of Ethiopia's 16 million Christians.