Synod to decide fate of defrocked Akurdid’s dioceses

Synod to decide  fate of defrocked Akurdid’s dioceses

The Episcopal Church of South Sudan has said all the dioceses approved by the defrocked Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province, Reuben Akurdid Ngong, shall be subject to discussion during the synod.

Akurdid who will not attend the synod is expected to submit his apology to the office of Primate for his case to be discussed.

In an interview with The City Review yesterday, the ECSS Communications Officer Manyang Gabriel said Akurdid would miss because he is defrocked and had already been replaced.

“He has already been defrocked and we have another Archbishop who replaced him, it is automatic that he will not attend the Synod but the three dioceses (Cueikeer, Makuac and Anyidi), will be discussed along with over 20 other dioceses,” said Gabriel.

Apology due

He said Akurdid will have to submit his apology for the synod either to lift the ex-communication imposed on him or not.

The spokesperson of the defrocked Jonglei Internal Province Archbishop, Reuben Akurdid Ngong, said they would not be part of the forthcoming Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) Synod in Juba.

Philip Maluak Deng claimed the community had resolved that Akurdid was their archbishop.

Deng said it was for this reason that they would not attend the General Synod of the ECSS. 

“We are not attending the Synod since the resolution was passed by the chairperson of five payams of Bor County, there was another letter written also from MPs of Bor County, and they signed a petition and sent it to Badi,” he explained.

 “They said Akurdid is still our archbishop because the church has failed to settle the dispute. If there is no community, there is no church; we don’t want the community to be messed up by politics in the ECSS,” he added.

Deng argued that the dioceses were already active in Jonglei Internal Province.

Perpetual dispute

On Thursday, the ECSS Archbishop and Primate the Most Rev. Dr Justin Badi Arama briefed President Salva Kiir about the ECSS Synod scheduled to take place between November 11, and November 14, 2021.

According to the office of the President, the meeting which was attended by the Minister of Presidential Affairs Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin also discussed prayers in addition to the solution to the stalemate.

The Episcopal Church of South Sudan said last month that the primate could not lift defrocking of the defrocked Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province Reuben Akurdid Ngong Akurdid without the consent of the Synod.

This came after members of the Bor community led by chairperson of Greater Bor Michael Makuei Lueth and the Chairperson of Bor Community Prof. Ajuoi Magot met the Primate under the emblem of forgiveness to Reuben Akurdid.

The Primate said the only possible way of resolving the issue was through a written apology letter from Akurdid to the office of Primate, which would later be tabled before the Synod this month.

Dr Justin initially wrote a letter to the governor of Jonglei State Deenay Chagor asking him to intervene to allow ECSS to recover its property in the state and enable the new Archbishop Moses Anur to access the state.

Akurdid also wrote to the governor saying he is still the state archbishop, given the fact that the Dioceses he had approved and their bishops were not all disqualified.

Immediately after Judge Lawrence Jaja dismissed their case in a ruling on 26 August 2021, Akurdid went to Jonglei State and declared himself the Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province.