Pretoria bishop charged with assault: The Church of England Newspaper, July 22, 2012, p 6. July 26, 2012Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Cathedral of St Alban the Martyr, Diocese of Pretoria, Jo Seoka
The Bishop of Pretoria has been charged with assault after allegedly attacking a cathedral verger. Police in Pretoria are investigating the claim that the Rt. Rev. Johannes Seoka struck Mr. Albert Wright, verger at the Cathedral Church of St Alban the Martyr on 30 June 2012.
The Sowetan newspaper reports that police spokeswoman Sergeant Anne Poortman confirmed that a case of common assault had been opened at Pretoria Central police station. It is alleged that the bishop assaulted Mr. Wright for having made public documents concerning the dispute between the bishop and some members of the cathedral chapter.
Last month the Anglican Church of Southern Africa initiated an investigation into charges of misconduct by Bishop Seoka and convened a task force of the House of Bishops charged under Canon 21.3 with investigating the claims. The initiating of an investigation is not an indication of guilt or a finding of a prima facie case of misconduct, but is the proper canonical response to allegations of misconduct, a South African bishop told CEN.
Bishop Seoka told The Church of England Newspaper the charges aired in the South African press by his critics that he had embezzled R500,000 from church coffers and that he had bullied his opponents were “ridiculous”.
In May Bishop Seoka and the diocesan standing committee suspended worship services at the cathedral after infighting amongst the congregation led to the resignation of the priest in charge.
The decision to temporarily suspend worship services was prompted by a desire to restore order and bring calm to a distressed congregation, the Bishop of Pretoria explained. “The truth is that all that is happening at the cathedral conflicts with the gospel, and the teachings of the Church.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.