Archbishop Justin meets Kiir over appointment stalemate

Archbishop Justin meets Kiir over appointment stalemate
President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan,Rev. Dr.Justin Badi Arama [3rd left] at the Statehouse (photo credit: PPU)

Archbishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Rev Dr Justin Badi Arama yesterday met President Salva Kiir and discussed the general assembly of the church[Synods] set for the 11-14 of November 2021.

They also discussed prayers and the general assembly of the church of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, according to the statement from the Presidential Press Unit.

In attendance was the Minister of Presidential Affairs Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin and some two priests accompanied by the Archbishop.

Last month, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan failed to lift the defrocking of the former Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province Reuben Ngong Akurdit without the consent of the General Synod.

The case between the two rival parties of ECSS led by Justin Badi and Reuben Akurdid was dismissed by the High Court under the ruling of Lawrence Jaja in a letter dated August 26, 2021.

The judge said he could not meddle in the church cases, thus, advising that the case be handled in the Church Tribunal upon the agreement of the parties.

Some church leaders said the Judge commented that the process of defrocking Reuben Akurdit was nonprocedural and should be corrected by the Church to resolve the Church’s internal conflict.

The team of Reuben Akurdit appealed to the Court of Appeal claiming that the case should have been decided by the judge.

However, when Akurdit travelled to Jonglei State in September this year 2021, he was welcomed by a multitude of faithful and declared himself as the Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province and the Bishop of the Diocese of Bor.

He visited the Dioceses of Cueikeer, Anyidi and Makuac, and United with the Diocese of Malek as he carried out his duties within the state obstructing the entry of the newly enthroned Bishop of Jonglei Internal Province, Moses Anur Ayom.

The office of the Primate then wrote a letter asking the Governor of Jonglei State to enable them to recover ECSS property from Bor Diocese.

The letter requested to allow Moses Anur— the newly enthroned Archbishop of Jonglei Internal Province by the Primate—to replace the defrocked Archbishop Ngong to have access to Bor Diocese and start executing his duties.

The Bor Community elders including the chairperson of the Greater Bor community, Michael Makuei Lueth, later approached the Primate Justin Badi to pardon Reuben Akurdid saying ‘‘God is a God of forgiveness’’. 

But the Primate asked for him to write an apology letter to the office of the Primate for the defrocking to be lifted.

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