The Global leader of the Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC) Patriarch Jerold Gliege has defended Bishop Jacinto Kibuuka and other servants for dressing up like Roman Catholics during service.
Patriarch Gliege, who is on a pastoral visit to Uganda, says they are justified to wear the same vestments as the Catholics.
“You have been asked why your priest wears vestments in church. These vestments are windows for the divine. Many churches have used them. Both the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church have used them. They are one of those things that the Church calls helpful tradition,” he said.
Bishop Kibuuka was expelled from the Catholic faith two years ago after he disobeyed orders from the archbishop of Cyprian Kizito Lwanga. Following the expulsion, Kibuuka set up the Mamre International prayer Center in Namugongo under the supervision of the Evangelical church.
Kibuuka and his colleagues have, however, come under attack for using the vestments usually reserved for the Catholic Church.
Bishop Jerold who installed Bishop Jacinto Kibuuka in the Evangelical Orthodox Church, came out strongly on those who claim to be the sole owners of the liturgical garments (vestments). He said that liturgical vestments have been and are still the traditional garments of the church since they symbolize baptism, the Kingdom of God, building of the yoke of Christ and that they (priests) are the Sheppard of the flocks.
He thus said it’s not proper and biblical for one church to claim ownership of the biblical vestments.
Early this year, the Uganda Catholic Lawyers’ Society on behalf of Roman Catholic Church filed a suit seeking to stop the EOC church, in particular Bishop Jacinto Kibuuka, from singing the Divine Liturgy in Roman Catholic vestments.
Patriarch Jerold also said their church places it's self firmly in the Apostolic Faith thus urging those who doubt them to test them.
" An Apostolic faith calls for Trinitarical doctrine, perceives Jesus in both humanity and divinity, stand on issues of morality, marriage, sexuality, love for mankind and humanitarianism and that's what we stand for and yes we are sect as much as other churches are to some extent after all the only church is Jesus Christ. We shall stand with any church that observes trinitary baptism and faith and we offer communion to all who wish" said Patriarch Jerold.
He made the remarks while at Mamre International Prayer Centre in Namugongo, Janda in Wakiso District.
Bishop Kibuuka also said since he was installed in the Orthodox Church over 9000 people and children have been baptized in a period of 9 months.
“Our church is doing a great job so I call upon church leaders to stop the church wars and focus on serving Jesus Christ” said Bishop Kibuuka.