Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church died at 77 today at Balcha Hospital after he was admitted for treatment. The patriarch was a highly controversial figure who was accused of being siding with the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
15 August 2012 [ESAT]
The controversial Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarch, Abune Paulos, is reported to have fallen sick and getting treatment at Dejazmach Balcha Hospital in Addis Ababa. According to the famous Ethiopian Orthodox Church blog, Dejeselam, the Patriarch is seriously ill and getting treatment as of past Monday.
The Patriarch was rumoured to be suffering from a slew of so far undisclosed ailments. Lately he was seen struggling to stand and walk by himself. As recently as a few weeks ago the Patriarch was seen soliciting for physical support to get up from his chair and walk to his car.
Last week the Patriarch was seen leading a mass at Saint Mary church at his palace. Church insiders who were at the mass claim the Patriarch’s health decline were evident.
The Patriarch’s medical treatment costs the church ETB 60,000 every week and observers say the exorbitance of the cost is yet another indication of the severity of his sickness.
ESAT was able to talk to one of the Patriarch’s close assistants. Aba Enqubahiriy denied the Patriarch is sick. Perhaps the Patriarch is visiting ‘the sick’ at Balcha Hospital, according to Aba Enqubahiriy.
Aba Paulos just concluded a month long festivities in celebration of the 20th year of his consecration. The elaborate festivities have raised a lot of eyebrows and were a subject of discussion among the faithful. He has had a series of dinner parties at Sheraton Addis and a few other private hotels in the presence of high ranking government ministers.
Aba Enquibahiriy promised to organize a phone call between ESAT’s journalist and the Patriarch. However he reneged on his promise after advising our reporter to call back again and again.
Aba Paulos hails from Adwa where the core of the ruling polity is from and came to the helm of the Patriarchate immediately after TPLF swept into political power waging a 17 year long armed struggle.