Thursday January 21 2010

Catholic head pays first visit to Muslim seat

HOLY PLACE: Uganda Muslim Supreme Council’s

HOLY PLACE: Uganda Muslim Supreme Council’s Hajj Nsereko Mutumba (C) and Bishop Kizito Lwanga put on their shoes yesterday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE 

By Flavia Nalubega

Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the head of the Catholic Church in Uganda, on Wednesday made his first visit to the Muslim seat at Old Kampala where he advised Muslims to unite.

Archbishop Lwanga, companied by over 150 Roman Catholic priests from Kampala Archdiocese, were received by the Mufti, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje.

“This is my first time to come here but I am overwhelmed by your warm welcome,” Archbishop Lwanga said.
“We are here to demonstrate our oneness in Christ because we are all ancestors of Abraham,” he added.

The Archbishop, who is also the chairman of the Inter Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), an organisation that unites people of different religious denominations in Uganda under one umbrella, called for unity among Catholics and Muslims if peace is to reign in the country.
“We are brothers and sisters as seen from creation. This brotherhood should be maintained and we as religious leaders should carry it on to God’s subjects so that we leave in peace and harmony,” Archbishop Lwanga said.

Preaching peace
Sheikh Mubajje, too, advised the church leaders to concentrate on peace as a form of promoting unity among Ugandans of different faiths to ensure future development.

“Concentrate on what builds us than what disunites us because our goal is to achieve development which we cannot attain without unity,” he said.
He praised and thanked the Catholic Church for not washing their dirty linen in public and handling their problems in a better way that has enabled the church’s fast development.

“You handle your misunderstandings calmly unlike us Muslims and I admire you for that. Conflicts are everywhere, among individuals, families and groups, they seem normal although dangerous. However if handled well, they can enhance development,” he said.

The visit, which was coordinated by the IRCU, was part of the activities of the Kampala Archdiocese Catholic Priests’ Workshop that has been going on at Ggaba since Sunday.
The five-day workshop is an annual activity organised by the Catholic Church to renew faith and educate its leaders.