'Son of Grace' school. Three years later, Yohannes obtained from Alexandria four bishops, an unprecedented number.72

Following Boru Meda, christological controversy ceased to be a central issue for the Ethiopian Church, which affirmed its adherence to the faith as received from Alexandria. The 'Son of Grace' school was marginalised and lost all its positions of influence. Qebat, by contrast, has quietly remained influential within the churches of Gojjam province.73 Development and indigenisation of the episcopacy, by contrast, became central concerns ofthe twentieth century.

An indigenous episcopal hierarchy

The four bishops - Petros, Mattewos, Luqas and Yohannes - whom Yohannes IV received from the Coptic patriarch in 1881, were technically peers, equal in rank, but Petros, who resided at the court of the emperor, was recognised as metropolitan. They were also, in the strict sense, without dioceses. Three were assigned to major political figures, the fourth to Gondar. Abuna Mattewos was assigned to Menilek of Shawa; Yohannes, who was shortly to die, to Gondar; and Luqas to Negus Takla Haymanot of Gojjam.74 Precedence amongst the ecclesiastics reflected the secular precedence of their princely patrons. Petros enjoyed the status of metropolitan only during the life of'Yohannes IV. Following the latter's death in 1889 and the ascent to the throne of Menilek, Mattewos was recognised as metropolitan and retained this position of precedence, outliving his peers and his patron, until his death in 1926. As for the bishops' territorial jurisdiction, it was neither more nor less than the political sway of their patrons. Yohannes IV had been satisfied to see ecclesiastical authority divided, not simply among the four bishops, but also between the bishops and the ecagé, assigning to the latter within his court the office of liqa kah-nat. Menilek, by contrast, returned to the precedent set by Tewodros and gave control of this influential and lucrative office to Mattewos.75 Mattewos's ascendancy increasingly became an object of resentment to Ethiopian churchmen, who in the 1920s began a campaign to indigenise the episcopacy.

This campaign coincided with the rise of Ras Tafari Makonnen, who, in 1930, was to be crowned Negusa Nagast Haile Sellassie I, claiming, as did all

72 Zewde Gabre-Sellassie, Yohannes IV ofEthiopia: a political biography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), 108-9.

73 Kindeneh, 'Role of Qebatoc'.

74 Sergew H. Sellassie, 'The period of reorganisation', in Panorama, 31-41.

75 For Mattéwos, see the summary accounts by Getatchew Haile, 'Ethiopian Orthodox Tawhédo Church' and Sergew, 'The period of reorganisation'.

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