Metropolitan Innocent Steps Down from Diocese of Burundi and Rwanda

Metropolitan Innocent Steps Down from Diocese of Burundi and Rwanda

OCP News Service – 17/12/2023

Gitega- Burundi: After faithfully serving for 11 years as the Metropolitan of Burundi and Rwanda, His Eminence Metropolitan Innocentios Byakatonda has stepped down from his position, citing ongoing health concerns. The announcement was made following the recent visit of Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa to Burundi, where the Metropolitan formally requested to be relieved of his duties.

Born in 1967 in the Ugandan city of Jinja, Metropolitan Innocentios’ dedication to the Orthodox Church in Africa spanned decades. He honed his theological skills at the Holy Cross Hellenic College in Boston before embarking on a distinguished career that saw him contribute significantly to the growth of Orthodoxy in Kenya. His tenure as Vicar General in Kenya was marked by notable contributions to the faith’s expansion, including his instrumental role in the flourishing of Makarios III Orthodox Theological Seminary in Nairobi.

In 2012, his leadership qualities and commitment to the Church were recognized when he was elected Bishop of Burundi and Rwanda by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. He served in this role with distinction for six years, before being further honored and entrusted with the higher rank of Metropolitan on November 26, 2018.

Throughout his tenure as both Bishop and Metropolitan, he diligently guided the Metropolis through its triumphs and challenges, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of countless faithful across the two countries. However, his recent health struggles, which have persisted for nearly four years, have ultimately led to his difficult decision to step down.

OCP News Service

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