Bishop Taaso steps down

Bishop Taaso steps down

MASERU – THE head of the Anglican Church of Lesotho, Bishop Mallane Taaso, who is stepping down from his position, bid an emotional farewell to his flock last Friday.
The bishop stepped down for health reasons.

Some congregants at the church’s Maseru’s archdioceses, the Cathedral of St Mary and St James, had tears running down their cheeks as they sang Tloho Moea o Halalelang.
The popular Anglican hymn implores the Holy Spirit to rest in the hearts of believers.

The bishop and his family were given M100 000 and a Toyota Fortuner as a farewell present.
However, Bishop Taaso was not there to witness the emotional ceremony due to illness.

The bishop recently had a stroke which affected the left side of his brain. His family was there on his behalf.
Born in June 1953 in Leribe, Pela-Tšoeu, Bishop Taaso was known as a dedicated churchman from his youth.

Many who spoke at the farewell ceremony said he would always be remembered by all Anglicans and others who were close to him as a devout minister of God.
He became a priest in 1993 and was ordained as a bishop in 2008.
He was amongst the six bishops in the Diocesan ever since it was established since 1950.

For more than 10 years as the Anglican bishop in Lesotho, 34 priests were ordained, in addition to the 70 that were already serving in the country.
He built 25 churches and still wished he would build more.
“If it wasn’t because of his illness, he could have done more than he did,” the Roman Catholic Archbishop Tlali Lerotholi said of him, speaking on behalf of the Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL).

“I believe wherever he is, he is as happy as we prayed for his wellness,” Queen ’Masenate Mohato Seeiso said.
Archbishop Lerotholi said being a bishop, as descried by 1 Timothy 3:1-7, requires those who are placed in high leadership positions within the church to be “men of good reputation, known for self-control and fairness, as well as have an ability to teach spiritual truths”.

“They cannot be known as drunkards, bickerers, or prone to greed,” Archbishop Lerotholi said, adding: “Those who are married must demonstrate faithfulness to their wife and respectable control of their children.”

He said a bishop must be “an experienced man who is respectable, a capable teacher with a good reputation and a well-ordered family life”.
“I wish he was here so that we could share this message with him and pray for him to heal from his sickness, but he is not here,” he said.

The Church’s chancellor of the Diocesan, High Court judge Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi, also passed his gratitude to the Taaso family by saying there were a lot of things that Bishop Taaso told him.
“In 2017, he said he wanted to rest as he had heard enough of the thokolosi (goblin) in church but I refused,” he said.

“It was not because of the thokolosi but insufficient funds. Irrespective of the insufficient funds he could not abandon people who believed and trusted him with such position of being a bishop,” Justice Monaphathi said.
He described Bishop Taaso as a no-nonsense man who did not fear anything that came his way.

“He is elegant, neat and tiny man who likes good things,” he said.
He explained he will forever remember him.
The bishop’s son, Thupane Taaso, said his father was chosen by God to be a leader of Anglicans in Lesotho and the family became part of that calling.

He said his father’s sickness did not give them enough rest as he would always talk about his duties as a Bishop hence they advised him as a family to step down.
“We, the Taaso’s family, wish that the next bishop will be treated well like we were treated,” the young Taaso said.

Itumeleng Khoete


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