The Rev. Fr. Anthony Musaala yesterday said he had no regrets over authoring a stinging criticism of the Catholic Church bishops and clerics, and vowed to appeal his suspension before the Apostolic Nuncio, the Pope’s ambassador in the country.
Fr. Musaala, who was on Tuesday suspended by the Kampala Archbishop, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, said in an exclusive interview that he is happy his missive, which has been widely circulating on the Internet, could help bring to justice all those who have silently suffered abuse at the hands of some catholic clerics.
In vowing to challenge Archbishop Lwanga before the Pope’s representative to Uganda, Archbishop Michael Blume, Fr Musaala
said: “….I will go and see the Pope’s ambassador. I have written my statement, and I have said; you know…. First of all, you are suspending me for putting something on the [Inter]net, which I didn’t do. They guy who did, said he would be happy to come out and to say that I [Fr. Musaala] never asked him to do that”.
Dr Lwanga on Tuesday suspended Fr Musaala, reasoning that his missive “damages the good morals of the Catholic believers and faults the church’s teaching”.
“This means, therefore, that Fr. Musaala because of the publication of his article in the public media which damages good morals of Catholic believers and further expresses a wrong teaching against the Catholic Church’s teaching and that this stirs up hatred and contempt against the Church, he incurs a Ferendae sententiae penalty as prescribed by Can.1314. Dr Lwanga wrote.
“This means that Father Anthony Musaala is suspended from celebrating sacraments and from the powers of governance in accordance to the law of the Church Can.1335 and1336 (1, 2and3) as investigations are being carried on.”
Asked what he had hoped to achieve by authoring the missive, Fr Musaala said cases of child abuse in Uganda should not be left to the church alone to resolve. In his opinion, by authoring the missive, he had done “a good thing” that could help deal with issues of the sex crimes and child abuse by catholic clerics.
Asked if he thinks his missive would cause changes in the Catholic Church, Fr Musaala said; “Well, I think a lot of people are going to come out and say they need help; that they have been abused or molested and they are much freer to come out and talk about it openly.”
He insists his missive may just be what the Catholic Church in Uganda needed.
“I asked, in my letter, why priests were not given the option of marriage. This is another reason why I was suspended. The truth of the matter is there are married priests in England who were Anglicans before. The church allowed them to keep their wives when they became priests. Why not give them the option in Africa?..............[text omitted]……………..I’m not opposed to celibacy, but when it is a purely administrate thing you know, people have to be committed to it in a more meaningful way,” he said. See Archbishop Lwanga’s full letter on www.monitor.co.ug