His Holiness Abune Merkorios, the fourth Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church passed away, according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Holy Synod. His funeral will be held at Kidist Selassie Cathedral Church on Sunday, Mar 6, 2022.
His Holiness served as the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church from Sep 1988 until 1991, when the church was split into two after the Derg regime was overthrown and the Patriarch was forced to flee from Ethiopia because of political pressure.
After 27 years in exile, He returned to Ethiopia after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed meet and persuaded Him to reconcile.
Abune Merkoreos, secularly named Father Zelebanos Fenta, was born to Fenta Tesema and Lemelem Gesese in 1937, in Aregit Kidane Mihret Monastery in Gonder province. He started attending his spiritual education from an early age at His birthplace. He later continued his education for four years in Gonj Tewodros and other monasteries in Gojam province. After completing His Digua lessons he returned to the monastery and taught for seven more years.
On Jan 21, 1979, he was among the 13 Metropolitan Archbishops elected by Holy Synod, priests, and followers of the religion and became the Archbishop of Ogaden province.
He served there for 11 years by rebuilding and reconstructing churches and comforted the people who were devastated by the war. Later, he was transferred to Gondar diocese province where He continued to teach and stabilize the community in Chilga and Dibarq.
Moreover, he achieved honor and fatherly recognition in rebuilding churches, opening spiritual boarding schools, and training centers for priests at his own expense, and mobilizing communities. He also helped protect holy books, artifacts, newspapers, and magazines of the church.
In 1988, His Holiness was enthroned as the fourth Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as Abuna Markorios, Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia, Archbishop of Axum, and Ichege of the See of Saint Taklehaimanot.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other officials have expressed their condolences