[Contributor : Shamari]
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) in Jamaica has distanced itself from the wedding of reggae crooner Siccature 'Jah Cure' Alcock and television personality Kamilia McDonald.
The ceremony that took place at the Tryall Golf Hotel in Hanover on August 7 was noted to be an Ethiopian Orthodox Ceremony. In one television interview McDonald said she was baptised in the EOC when she was 16 years old and that she could not imagine doing things any other way.
However, on August 14, a notice in THE SUNDAY GLEANER claimed that the EOC had nothing to do with the ceremony. The notice further stated that the event should not have been carried out under the name of the church because it would have been in defiance of a decision that was made in the Supreme Court on June 15, 2007, indicating that schism are no longer members or part of the church and prevents their occupation of church premises.
In an interview with THE WEEKEND STAR yesterday, Reverend Father Wolde Dawit, administrator and priest in charge of the EOC in Jamaica, said that, "Anyone who is not connected to this body is not officially a part of the church."
THE WEEKEND STAR understands that in 1992 there was a split in the EOC when the late Arch Bishop Abuna Yesehaq, who was running the church for 15 years, broke away. On September 25, that same year, Yesehaq was divested of his authority. Interestingly, he continued to operate under the name of the EOC.
The legal battle between the parties began in 1994 when the EOC brought a suit in the Supreme Court against Yesehaq. After Yesehaq died, the suit was amended in 2006 and Lloyd Dobson, an administrator, substituted as the defendant.
Attorneys-at-law Raphael Codlin, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown and Tamika Gordon, who represented the EOC, argued that by Act 11 of 1978 the EOC was incorporated in Jamaica. They said the duly appointed Patriarch Abuna Gabriel had appointed a board of trustees in 1993 and that board was legally responsible for the running of the EOC.
It is understood that even though the order was made the breakaway group has continued to defy the order by occupying the church premises on Maxfield Avenue. The ruling has since been appealed and will be heard in October.
Church broke away
"They don't have any bishop, they just have a law by themselves, they are not recognised by the EOC. The former leader who was sent initially to establish the church broke away and they followed him. He gave reasons but it was rejected by the Holy Synod and the court in America," Father Dawit reasoned.
He further explained that Jah Cure's wedding ceremony which was officiated by Father Malakot (Lloyd Dobson) was unlawful.
"Only a bishop can ordain a priest. The priest who carried out the wedding was unlawfully ordained. During the time when the former bishop was divested and before he died in 2005, he unlawfully ordained a number of people," he said.
In the meantime, Father Dawit said that the EOC is the oldest christian church in the world and his main mission is to remove the image that it is a Rasta church.
"We believe in the Holy Trinity, we will never try to speak for them. There is so much confusion with those people so we never venture to say what they believe or what they don't," he said.
When contacted Jah Cure, however, had "no comment" to give on the matter. The singjay said he is focused on work such as the release of his upcoming album. He commented, "I have my album coming out and I'm leaving at the end of this month for a tour to Africa and South America. Work a gwaan, the world a call for Jah Cure."
Source: The Jamaica Star
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