Five church officials from the Ethiopian Catholic Church of South Africa have been restrained from interfering and functioning as reverends in the Eastern Cape Diocese of the church, according to a court order.
According to a document issued to The Rep, the canon of the cathedral of the Eastern Cape Diocese of the church Mthuthuzeli Mgulwa, who had made the application, stated that an archbishop and four reverends who were stationed and serving in the Gauteng Diocese of the church were “unconstitutionally” interfering with the Eastern Cape Diocese.
“The archbishop ordained and appointed ministers to function in the Eastern Cape Diocese without even consulting the Diocesan Bishop or without the knowledge of the cathedral dean. This is unconstitutional and amounts to ungodly conduct as it created a chaotic state of affairs within the Eastern Cape Diocese. As a result of this, physical fights broke out in the church. I am not only duly authorised by the constitution of the church to bring this application, but I am also doing so with the authority of the Diocesan Bishop as well as the Synod of the Diocese of the Eastern Cape.”
In response to the application, the court order stated: “Having heard the application as per notice of motion on January 22, after the respondent’s legal advisor failed to make any appearance to oppose the application, the first respondent is specifically interdicted and restrained from unconstitutionally interfering in the functioning of the Eastern Cape Diocese of the church and the second to fifth respondents are interdicted and restrained from functioning as reverends in the Eastern Cape Diocese of the church.” The court, however, issued no order as to costs, according to the document.
Speaking to The Rep, Archbishop Johannes Mhlupheki Nxumalo, who denied having interfered with the functioning of the church, did not want to comment further on the matter.
“We are calling on all Ethiopian Catholic church members to come back, reunite and restore the soul of the nation through prayer. There should be peace in the church,” he said.