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Sudan Episcopal Church elects three new Bishops

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By Isaac Vuni

March 27, 2007 (JUBA) — The provincial electorate college of Episcopal Church of the Sudan has today elected three pastors to the order of Bishops and are to be consecration on April 22nd 2007 at All Saint Cathedral in Juba, Rve.Enock Tombe, provincial secretary has revealed.

Rve.Tombe says the provincial electorate colleges, 67 voters, have elected Rev. Bernard Oringa Balmoi, 53 years, as Bishop elect of Torit diocese, replacing Bishop Wilson Arop who retired on December 31st 2006.

While , Rev. Anthony Pogo replacing Bishop Dawid Manashi of Kajokeji diocese who retired on November 1st 2006 and Rve.Canon John Zawo,38 years, to replace bishop Benjamin Roito who also retired on December 31st 2006.

When ask of what would be their first plan as a new bishops, the bishop elect of Torit says, “My diocese is bleeding because of war therefore my first duty would be to promote peace and harmony among my flock irrespective of their ethnic, religious, political and social affiliations”

Meanwhile bishop elect of Ezo says, “I appeal to my faithful and those in the government of southern Sudan to talk little and do more, because people of southern Sudan are legging far behind in so many aspects of life”.

We need your prayer in order to accomplish the challenging task you place on us, pleaded the bishops elect.

There were three contestants for the seat of diocese of Torit but one candidate, Pastor Simon Koribe reported to have not send any information to the electorate college, hence two candidates competed; Pastor Bernard Oringa Balmoi got 42 votes while Pastor Ben Oliya Swa, though physically not present, garnered 25 votes.

One voter lamented that there was no democracy in the church; otherwise, he said Rev. Ben Oliya was the most suitable candidate for Torit diocese.

Kajokeji diocese has two contestants but at last minutes pastor Hennery Leju step-down for Rev. Anthony Pogo who was declared unopposed. Meanwhile Ezo diocese send three names but one pastor step-down, leaving Rve.Canon John Zawo and Rev. David Bako who battled at neck to neck-35 and 32 votes.

The election was supervised by the provincial chancellor of Episcopal Church of the Sudan as the Archbishop Joseph Marone looks on.

The election was conducted in accordance to ECS constitution which stipulates that the first nomination be held in each of the three dioceses that felt vacant and then the nominated thee potential candidates’ names be forwarded to the Archbishop who fixes date for the meeting of the provincial electorate college of Episcopal Church of the Sudan for final election of the bishop elect.

The electorate comprises of three clegy, three laity and four staff from the province of the Episcopal church of Sudan administration (Denary secretary, Treasury, Chancellor and the Registrar).

According to the Episcopal Church of the Sudan constitution, retirement age for a Bishop stand at 70 years and his/her vacated position ought to be filling within 90 days.

(ST)

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