‘Suspended’ Archbishop ordains three clerics
By: Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
Jonglei Internal Province Archbishop has consecrated and enthroned three bishops of the newly created dioceses of Bor despite his suspension.
In December last year, Rev. Rueben Akurdit Ngong Akurdit, Jonglei was purportedly suspended by Rt. Rev. Justin Badi Arama, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan primate for withholding creation of new dioceses.
The provincial standing order No 5/2019 dated 13 December indicates that the deferral of Rev. Reuben Akurdit was in accordance with articles 16 (1), (2) article 17 (3) and article 27 (1xa) of the Constitution of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan as per violations.
However, the suspended Archbishop had earlier on termed his suspension “mockery”.
“His grace, this suspension is mockery. Do you know why you rejected my suspension of Bishop Peter last year? He asked. You told me that I didn’t follow legal procedures for not forming the committee to investigate the problem; also you told me that I didn’t use the chancellor. How come that you repeated that mistake you disqualified me of,” Rev. Akurdit said in a statement obtained by Juba Monitor.
The suspended Archbishop declared that the standing order was invalid and he was not willing to take it up.
Philip Maluak Deng, Internal Archbishop’s Spokesperson in Bor also told Juba Monitor on Tuesday that his boss’ suspension was unprocedural.
He said that Rev. Akurdit was able to enthrone the newly appointed areas’
Bishops last Sunday since his suspension didn’t reflect right legal procedures.
“His suspension and stoppage were un-procedural. There are always procedures that something be decided upon based on biblical obedience and doctrines in the church,” Maluak said.
“Secondly, the suspension came through social media. It has not been presented officially in an administrative channel. So we don’t completely recognize it,” he added.
He said that though they have responded to the suspension, the Spokesperson revealed they were not supposed to react to it since it reached them through social media.
Maluak figured out that they have nullified the suspension memo given the fact that it bears no biblical ways of suspending church leaders.
“Since the establishment of Anglican Church, 116 bishops were suspended in accordance with biblical procedures. These were due to immorality and so forth. There are four areas where a bishop can be suspended. Also,
The suspension normally takes about 5 months with the investigation on according to the constitution,” he explained.
He said that an elected bishop was not just supposed to be suspended or dismissed from the blue.
“He was right to consecrate three bishops. He is still in power because all these dioceses were approved, assessed and passed by the diocese of Bor,” Maluak said.
“Makuach, Anyidi and Cuei-keer were created as dioceses since during the time of Rt. Rev. Deng Bul Yaak,” he added.
According to him, the words of God were not just to be stopped from the azure.
Rt. Rev. David Gai Manyok, James Deng Akeer and David Achiek Mach were enthroned on Sunday as new bishops of Cuei-keer, Anyidi and Makuach dioceses respectively.
Mr. Maluak revealed that they were consecrated and enthroned by the Archbishop of the Internal Province based on his powers conferred upon him under article 28 of the Constitution of the province of Episcopal Church of South Sudan.
“For us, we are to only notify and inform the primate that this thing has been done in accordance with the Rt. Rev Akurdit powers,”
“As a diocese of Bor and Internal province, we have rejected the suspension even though it comes through the administrative channel since it is un-procedural,”
He said that the Internal Province had directed rejection letter to the primate through email though the response wasn’t receive back.
Attempts to reach the Office of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan primate on the happenings in Bor were not immediately successful as many calls directed to his Archbishop went unanswered.