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The Ethiopian Catholic Church

The Catholic bishops of Ethiopia and Eritrea compose a single episcopal conference whose headquarters are in Addis Ababa. In these countries all the jurisdictions are geographical, and include worshipping communities of both the Latin and Ethiopian traditions. The three dioceses in Eritrea and three in central and northern Ethiopia generally use the Ethiopian (Ge’ez) rite, and fall under the jurisdiction of the Oriental Congregation. In southern Ethiopia there are five Apostolic Vicariates and two Apostolic Prefectures mostly of the Latin rite with about 500,000 faithful under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The membership figure below is the sum of the six dioceses in the two countries that depend on the Oriental Congregation. In 2006 there were 205 parishes in the six dioceses served by 176 secular priests and 438 priests who belonged to religious orders. There were also 1,046 women religious and 142 seminarians.

In Eritrea there are seminaries in Asmara and Keren. In Ethiopia all the major seminarians attend the Capuchin Franciscan Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Addis Ababa, except those from the diocese of Adigrat, which has its own major seminary. In 1919 Pope Benedict XV founded the Pontifical Ethiopian College within the Vatican walls and designated St. Stephen’s Church directly behind St. Peter’s Basilica for the use of the college.

Location: Ethiopia and Eritrea
Head: Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel (born 1948, appointed 1999)
Title: Archbishop of Addis Ababa of the Ethiopians
Residence: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Membership: 223,000
Website: www.ecs.org.et


Last Modified: 07 Feb 2008


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