Ethiopian Catholic Church ordains new bishop in PE
The Reformed Ethiopian Catholic Church of Southern Africa has ordained its new bishop, Makomela Simon Mokoena, in the All Saints Church in Motherwell.
Vereeniging-based Mokoena, 56, a former Anglican Church of SA priest, will oversee the Limpopo, Gauteng and North West provinces for the Reformed Ethiopian Catholic Church.
Bishop Banele Chris Mente, who is the first Anglo-Catholic primate to be ordained by the Old Catholics in the country and is the church’s presiding bishop, was the chief consecration officer at the service in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
He was assisted by Bishop Emeritus Fezile Koliti and American Archbishop Dr Michael Callahan.
Mokoena said he was happy to be continuing the historical Catholic tradition.
“The old history of the Roman Catholic Church is the foundation of our church,” Mokoena said.
“I am really excited about the responsibility given to me by Archbishop Mente and I’m looking forward to putting those structures into my diocese,” he said.
Church registrar Livingstone Matiwane said the inaugural consecration of Mokoena was a continued move towards epochal change.
“This consecration represents a critical quantum leap towards organisational consolidation in this church.
“It extends the Reformed Ethiopian Catholic Church of Southern Africa’s footprint to a new terrain, the St Augustine of Hippo Diocese, whose jurisdiction covers three provinces.
“It is a milestone achieved within a period of four months since the inaugural consecration of the presiding bishop in October 2018.
“It follows the integration agreement between this church and its erstwhile Ethiopian sect from the Intsikelelo yomzi wase Tiyopiya under Bishop Fezile Koliti hardly a month ago.
“Most significantly, this consecration constitutes a substantial blow to the debilitating tendency of sect formation within the Ethiopian church, a problem which started in 1906 within the Ibandla Lama Tiyopiya [a South African Ethiopian Catholic Church],” Matiwane said.