KRESTODOLU II (d. 1679-1680)

Successor of Abuna Mika’el IV, this metropolitan was the second to bear the name Krestodolu, which is the equivalent of the Ethiopian name Gabra Krestos (Servant of Christ). An Ethiopian source, the Annals of Addi Neammin, provides as the date of the metropolitan’s arrival in the year 1656 of the Ethiopian calendar (A.D. 1663-1664). This date is confirmed by the Abridged Chronicle of Ethiopia, which records it as the thirty-second year of Fasiladas’ reign (1663-1664). Thus, it seems evident that this metropolitan was designated and consecrated by the Coptic patriarch IV (1660-1675).

Some information about Krestodolu’s episcopate has been conserved in the chronicle of Negus Yohannes I. During the month of Miyazya 1661 of the Ethiopian calendar (April-May 1669), Krestodolu was called to participate in the assembly that decided upon the expulsion into Sennar of the “Franks,” the last descendants of the small Portuguese Catholic community that had been established in Ethiopia. One year later (April 1670), this metropolitan also took part in the council that had been convoked to examine the questions raised by a throng of warrior-monks who had invaded the streets of Gonder. Without doubt, it was still a matter of the disputes between the Unionists and Unctionists that had arisen during the episcopate of Abuna Mika’el IV, but this time, the differences were aggravated by the fact that the opposing factions anathematized each other and excommunicated all those who did not share their doctrine, including both the negus and the metropolitan.

Shortly thereafter, the metropolitan’s situation did indeed become difficult. Negus Yohannes I, who favored the Unctionists, suspected Krestodolu II of leaning toward the Unionists. Thus, he decided to get rid of the prelate and asked the Coptic to send a new metropolitan to Ethiopia. IV sent Abuna Sinoda, who arrived at Gonder on 9 Teqemt 1664 of the Ethiopian calendar (A.D. 17 October 1671), a date that undoubtedly marks the dismissal of Krestodolu II. Since the royal chronicle allots only a few prudent words to this dismissal, it may be presumed that Krestodolu II received proper treatment for the rest of his life. A single recension of the Abridged Chronicle of notes that he died during the thirteenth year of the reign of Yohannes I (1679- 1680), by which time his successor, Sinoda, had already occupied the episcopal throne for eight years.


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