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Defrocked Archbishop to consult with congregation over retirement

The defrocked archbishop of Jonglei internal province, Ruben Akurdid Ngong has decided to consult with his congregation over his pending reinstatement as retired archbishop of the Episcopal Church Jonglei Internal province.

“I was convinced by the President to write an apology which I was not willing to write, we were called for the dispute to be solved amicably. It seems that there was something good coming out of that but it turned out the opposite,” Akurdid told a press conference on Sunday in Juba.

 Akurdid said he expected to have been retired from church service in 2021, adding that matters have been complicated since he fell out with the Episcopal Church leadership.

Archbishop Akurdid has been locked in four year dispute with the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Justin Badi Arama over the consecration of bishops of three diocese of Anyidi, Makuac and Chueikeer diocese in Jonglei state.

Justin Badi Arama, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan set conditions for reinstatement of Akurdid.

“We received a letter of apology from defrocked archbishop and we had requested him to come for reinstatement but we could not go ahead, he is given time to consult with his people,” said Badi in a statement.

“The main contentious issue was he (Akurdid) wanted to be reinstated as full Archbishop for three months but the church laws don’t go that way, he has to be reinstated as retired Archbishop of Jonglei,” Badi disclosed.

Michael Makuei, the national minister of information, said the apology from Akudid was to be followed up with the Episcopal Church lifting his suspension

“The Archbishop of Jonglei province was to write an apology to the Episcopal Church leadership and that will be followed by lifting of defrocking. We proposed three months as solution but to our disappointment the solution was not reached,” Makuei said.

Makuei said Akurdid should have been given three months period in order to allow unification of the divided Episcopal Church over his defrocking.

 “The church is now sharply divided in Bor, he will work for exit scheme and also ensure necessary preparation for incomingArchbiop of the province,” he said.

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