|On Nomination of First Church Head, Archbishop Basilios|
|Friday, January 19, 1951|
|We are thankful to God at the nomination of an Ethiopian to be the Archbishop of Ethiopia, which accomplishment We consider to be of the highest importance of all that We have done, during Our reign for the benefit of the Ethiopian Church.|
The effort, undertaken several years ago, and the path We have had to travel since, for the gradual attainment of complete authority for the Ethiopian Church, has been too arduous to be forgotten.
At last, the work willed by God has been accomplished, and He has given Our independent nation a Church, endowed with authority, which ranks among the free churches of the world. This accomplishment, which has taken place during Our reign, constituted a matter of pride for Us as well as for Our people. The monarchs of Our ancestry earnestly desired and hoped to witness this event; and God has enabled Us to see realized the hope, strengthened by faith.
Our congratulations go to Your Grace that you are the first Ethiopian to be entrusted with such a high and sacred duty during Our reign. An era of increased mutual respect and coidiality has opened between the Ethiopian and Egyptian Orthodox Churches.
Our thanks are due to His Holiness Yosab II, of the Holy Seat of St. Mark, who consented to bring this matter to a settlement, in the light of God's inspiration; We are happy to remark that this ecclesiastical evolution, effected in Our age, points to our common good luck.
Spiritual power is the eternal guide, in this life and the life after, for man ranks supreme among all creatures. Led forward by spiritual power, man can reach the summit destined for him by the Great Creator.
In Your Grace is vested the responsibility for the contribution of the Ethiopian Church. for its part, towards giving the remedy for, and the spiritual comfort to, the wounds caused by the evil in the world. Moreover, in particular, the duty is yours for giving guidance to the Ethiopian people for their benefit in their terrestrial as well celestial lives.
We earnestly hope that God grant you strength and His Grace to help you discharge the heavy duties that you shoulder.
|Haile Selassie I|