|Archeparch Menghisteab Tesfamariam of Asmara|
(Rome) In the dispute within the Ethiopian Catholic Church united with Rome, Pope Francis has intervened with the establishment of a separate Metropolitan Church of Eritrea. The construction of the new Archeparchy of Asmara separates the territories of the states Ethiopia and Eritrea by churches. Thus, the last overriding differences are to be overcome.
As the first Metropolitan of the Archeparchy, the Pope has newly appointed Menghesteab Tesfamariam from the Comboni Religious Order.
Most of the Christians of Ethiopia and Eritrea are of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which emerged from the Patriarchate of Alexandria and is therefore strongly influenced by Copticism. Evangelization in the Horn of Africa had already begun in the first century. The first Ethiopian Christian was already mentioned in Scripture.
In 1450 the first union with Rome took place because of Muslim attempts at conquest. followed in 1603 with another union by Emperor Asnaf Sagad II., but ended with the fall of the Emperor in 1632. Only in the 19th century were lasting unions on a small scale achieved, which were promoted during the Italian colonial rule from 1894 in Eritrea and from 1936 also in Ethiopia. In 1930 the establishment of the first Ethiopian Catholic Ordinariate was established.
Over the years, several dioceses were originated. Now Pope Francis has divided the former ecclesiastical province of Addis Ababa by the establishment of a second ecclesiastical province of Eritrea with three suffragans. Its membership includes about six percent of the Eritrean population. The Ecclesiastical Province of Addis Ababa remain two suffragan dioceses. They contain less than one percent of the Ethiopian population.
Unlike Latin Metropolitans, the Uniates have far-reaching powers within their area of jurisdiction.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
image: Archeparchy of Asmara
Trans; Tancred email@example.com