in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland
His Excellency Mr. Negassi Sengal Ghebrezghi,
Ambassador of Eritrea to the United Kingdom,
96 White Lion Street,
London, N1 9PF.
Peace to you from God.
At its quarterly meeting held in London on 5 June the ‘Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches in the United Kingdom & the Republic of Ireland’ expressed its grave concern about the treatment and welfare of His Holiness Patriarch Antonius of Eritrea and asked that you should convey to His Excellency the President of Eritrea the Council's position on the following points. It is the opinion of the Council that:
- the intervention of the Eritrean government in the affairs of the Eritrean Tewahedo Orthodox Church is uncanonical and proving injurious to the unity and health of Eritrean Orthodox Christians;
- the removal of His Holiness Patriarch Antonius from the effective exercise of his authority as Patriarch of Eritrea, without proper judicial and canonical process, is contrary to the Traditions and practice of the Church and to be deplored;
- placing His Holiness under house arrest and subjecting him to insults and indignities is sacrilegious;
- the installation of Bishop Dioscorus as Patriarch of Eritrea is uncanonical and therefore ecclesiastically null and void.
Council of the Oriental Orthodox Churches
in the United Kingdom & the Republic of Ireland
The Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury
HE Faustino Sainz Monoz, Apostolic Nuncio, Roman Catholic Church
Mr. Ben Lyon, Africa Directorate, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
General Secretary, Middle East Council of Churches
General Secretary, Churches Together in England
General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain & Ireland