Retired Primate of Burundi accepts appointment to the Anglican Center in Rome

The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi to be his representative to the Holy See and the new director of the Anglican Center in Rome. Archbishop Ntahoturi was previously the Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi. He served as primate the better part of 16 years and is Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Matana. He is the Chair of the Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Unity, Faith and Order, is a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches and has been chairman of the Council of the Anglican Provinces in Africa since 2012. The Archbishop will begin his new duties in Rome in September of this year. He will follow in the footsteps of Archbishop David Moxon, the current director of the Anglican Center, who will be retiring in June.

I am honored and delighted to have been appointed: I am looking forward to continuing the work of the dedicated men who have held this post before me. I would like to strengthen those areas, especially in peace building, where the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church can work together for a common witness.
– Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi

Archbishop Ntahoturi is native to Burundi, where he was born in 1948 in a village in the south of the country. His family was quite poor. He received his theological education in Uganda at Bishop Tucker Theological College in Mukono (1972). He was ordained a priest in 1973. He completed advanced training in England at both Cambridge (Theology, 1976) and Oxford (Diplomacy, 1982).

When he returned to Burundi he worked for the government and eventually became the Chief of Staff of the Burundian president, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza. When President Bagaza was overthrown by a coup, the Archbishop spent a number of years in prison from 1987 – 1991. He was consecrated bishop of the Diocese of  Matana in 1997 and also became the Provincial Secretary of the Anglican Church of Burundi.

The Archbishop has been active in the Global South. He attended GAFCON II in Kenya in 2013.

I am personally delighted that Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi has agreed to take up the joint post of Archbishop’s Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. The appointment of a former Primate to this post for the second time running demonstrates the importance I attach to developing the increasingly close relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. Archbishop Bernard has played an immensely valuable role in the life of the Anglican Communion for many years both as a bishop and more recently as a Primate.  He also brings extensive ecumenical experience in Burundi, in the Anglican Communion and in the life of the World Council of Churches.  I wish him every blessing in his new role.
– The Most Revd Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury

Facts for this story were gathered from the Anglican Communion News Service and Wikipedia. The photo is from the ACNS and Lambeth Palace.

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