Skip to comments.Metropolitan Lwanga Eyes Orthodox Seat (The First Black Pope?)
Posted on 09/28/2004 10:39:35 PM PDT by Destro
Metropolitan Lwanga Eyes Orthodox Seat
New Vision (Kampala)
September 28, 2004
Posted to the web September 28, 2004
THE leader of the country's Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Yonah Lwanga, has expressed interest in becoming the sect's Africa's Pope (Patriarch).
This follows the death of Patriarch Petros VII in a plane crash in Greece's Athos mountain ranges early this month.
The Orthodox Church general secretary, Theodore Kato, yesterday confirmed Lwanga's interest in the seat.
The elections are due on October 9.
Kato, who is the official spokesperson for the Orthodox faith, said the Lwanga would face stiff competition from his european counterparts.
"He is the only black Metropolitan to vie for the seat. He needs our prayers," said Kato.
If he wins the elections, Lwanga will be the first black Metropolitan south of the Sahara to take the seat.
In 1997, Lwanga stood and lost to Petros. He polled three votes in the elections which saw Petros replace Parathious.
The Patriarch stays in power for life.
Petros was going to Greece to perform the yearly religious rituals done by popes on Mt. Athos when he died.
The Church in Egypt is held to have been founded by Mark in about 42, but by 381 its prestige had been surpassed by Constantinople, the Empire's new capital, whose Patriarch was accordingly given precedence over that of Alexandria.
Though the Patriarchs are regarded as the leaders of the Orthodox Church, their pre-eminence is more a matter of organisation than of authority, as all its bishops are considered to have equal rights and powers. Orthodox bishops therefore have perhaps a more independent sphere of action than do their Roman Catholic and Protestant counterparts.
In 1990 the late Petros became Metropolitan of Accra and West Africa, a diocese that spanned 22 countries, but a year later he was translated to the archdiocese of Irinoupolis and East Africa as its Exarch. Based in Nairobi, he served one of the most remarkable congregations on the continent, the 70,000 Greek Orthodox adherents who live around the shores of Lake Victoria. Presently the Orthodox Church in Uganda numbers 200,000 faithful with 23 priests and 70 communities and includes two minor seminaries, schools, medical clinics and a hospital.
This community, located largely in Uganda, but with significant churches in Kenya and Tanzania, was founded independently in the 1920s by two black Anglicans who came to Orthodoxy through their own reading. It is now one of the liveliest, and largest, elements of the Alexandrine see and when, in 1994, Petros was elected Metropolitan of Cameroon and West Africa, he was succeeded, as the first Metropolitan of Uganda, by Theodore Nagiama, the first black bishop to be appointed to an Orthodox diocese.
Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga was born into an Orthodox family in 1945 and grew up in Namungona, Uganda. The grandson of one of the founding fathers of Orthodoxy in Uganda, he experienced the beauty of Orthodoxy from his youth. After high school, he traveled to Crete where he attended an Orthodox seminary, and then studied at the University of Athens where he graduated in 1978. After his ordination to the priesthood, he returned to Africa where he served as the dean of the Makarios III Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi for ten years. On July 26, 1992, he was elevated as the first Orthodox Bishop of Bukoba in Tanzania. On March 12, 1997, he was elected Metropolitan of Kampala and All Uganda and enthroned in May 1997 by PETROS VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.
Thanks for posting this. Very interesting.
Just wanted to point this out in advance of protestants coming around and fulminating that the title is blasphemous.
Of course, the Popes of Alexandria, like the Popes of Rome and the Patriarchs of Antioch, all can rightly claim petrine foundations for their sees: Antioch and Rome because St. Peter occupied the see, Alexandria because he consecrated his secretary, the Evangelist Mark, to be its first bishop.
I will fulminate only to the extent of offering lightning-quick thanks for this interesting information.
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