The Church of England newspaper:
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has initiated an investigation into charges of misconduct committed by the Bishop of Pretoria, the Rt. Rev. Johannes Seoka.
Last week Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba’s office confirmed to the South African press that a committee of the House of Bishops had been formed under the terms of Canon 21.3 to investigate claims made against the bishop.
The terms of reference for the investigation will be set at the first meeting of the committee, a spokesman said, and once the investigations are complete it will submit is findings to the full House of Bishops for review.
The bishop 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”.
Last month Bishop Seoka and the diocesan standing committee suspended worship services at the Cathedral of St. Alban the Martyr in Pretoria 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.”
The initiating of an investigation under Canon 21.3 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 South African press that he welcomed the investigation. “There is nothing uncommon about the process. At the moment I cannot confirm who the people sitting on the task team will be or any further information,” the bishop said.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.