The government and religious leaders from Kigezi Sub-region have applauded the retiring archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev Stanley Ntagali, for his stand on homosexuality.
The leaders said despite pressure and threats from the international community to withdraw funding from the country, Archbishop Ntagali boldly opposed homosexuality.
The leaders hailed Archbishop Ntagali on Sunday at Rugarama Cathedral in Kabale Town as they to bid farewell to the cleric, who is set to retire early next year.
The Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, the governor of Bank of Uganda, Prof Tumusiime Mutebile and Members of Parliament from Kigezi Sub-region, among other church leaders, attended the function.
The State Minister for Finance in-charge of Planning, Mr David Bahati, who spoke on behalf of the National Resistance Movement party, said the fact that Archbishop Ntagali opposed homosexuality in Uganda, saved Christians from ungodly acts that contradict the Bible teachings.
“I want to thank Archbishop Ntagali for supporting us from the time we drafted and tabled a Bill opposing homosexuality. We thank him for keeping the Church of Uganda Christians united on biblical principles. We are so grateful that he is retiring when the Christians are still united against such bad practices,” he said.
“He shall be remembered for contributing towards development of church funded programmes besides preaching the gospel and inspiring Christians to love their religion. I am sure that God’s grace has been manifested during his time and may God continue to bless him in his retirement,” Mr Bahati added.
Dr Rugunda hailed Archbishop Ntagali for his dedicated church service, especially the completion of the Church House in Kampala, besides promoting unity among Christians.
“Archbishop Ntagali has been able to promote unity in Church of Uganda unlike in the past when there was disunity. I want to thank him for being a brave leader that completed some stalled church projects,” he said.
The Bishop of Kigezi Diocese, the Rev George Bagamuhunda, thanked Archbishop Ntagali for being honest and mobilising Christians towards development.
“We thank God that Archbishop Ntagali has been a faithful church leader that opposed evil practices from entering the church during his time. We shall continue to pray for him so that he continues guiding the church even in his retirement,” Bishop Bagamuhunda said.
“We shall always remember him for his gospel of salvation and preaching to people for development,” Bishop Bagamuhunda added.
Archbishop Ntagali said he has no hand in identifying his successor because he believes that it is God that chooses church leaders.
“I thank the almighty God that allowed us to serve his people in this capacity as the archbishop of the Church of Uganda and for his grace that facilitated me to serve the church ministry for 43 years. When I started serving as a catechist, I did not know that at one time I will serve God in the capacity of an archbishop,” Archbishop Ntagali said.
“I do not have a hand in identifying my successor because I know it’s God to choose church leaders for his people. Trust in God and do his work all the time, he will fight all your battles. Learn to forgive and pray for all those that annoy you and God’s blessings shall be on you in everything that you do,” he said.
He added that he is happy to retire and hand over Church of Uganda office when Christians are united, in addition to many achievement that have been registered.
“I will continue serving God until I die because at retirement, we hand over church offices but we must keep in the church ministry serving Christians,” Archbishop Ntagali said.
At the same function, Mr Bahati presided over the fundraising for Karengyere Primary School in Rubanda District where he donated 300 bags of cement for the reconstruction of a five-classroom-block that was destroyed by hailstorm in October 2018.
Introduction. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009, was tabled in Parliament as a private member’s bill by the Ndorwa West MP, Mr David Bahati.
Passing. It was passed by Parliament in December 23 and assented to by President Museveni in February 2014.
Annulled. In August 2014, the Constitutional Court nullified the law for having been passed by MPs without the required quorum of at least one third of all legislators.
Punishment. According to the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014, a person who purports to contract a marriage with another person of the same sex, commits the offence of homosexuality and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for life.
Boycott. The Church of Uganda, led by Archbishop Ntagali, in 2016 boycotted a top Anglican Church summit in the Zambian capital Lusaka over failure by the top church leadership in Canterbury to disassociate itself from the practice.