Lira. President Museveni has challenged the Catholic Church to desist from begging foreign countries but instead cultivate a spirit of hard work and wealth creation among the population.
The message was contained in his speech read by Vice President Edward Ssekandi at the installation of Bishop Sanctus Linos Wanok as the new overseer of Lira Catholic Diocese at the weekend in Lira Town.
“Gone are the days when churches in Africa looked up for foreign well-wishers for support. We, therefore, have no alternative other than working hard to initiate and implement income generating projects,” Mr Museveni said.
The President urged the church to seek economic independence by preaching economic prosperity to the flock.
“I have been telling our Christians on many occasions that we need to work hard to support our religious institutions because they are our own. This cannot be obtained when the bulk of the flock is still living in poverty,” he added.
Mr Museveni also recognised the contribution of the Catholic Church in the return of peace in the northern region and development.
“The Catholic Church worked hard hand-in-hand with government to promote peace and reconciliation in this region and for this reason, thank you,” the President said.
Speaking shortly after his installation, Bishop Wanok pledged to mobilise Christians to complete the cathedral building.
“Having this project completed will be my key target and to ensure unity and the spread of the word of God among Christians around the entire Lango region,” he said.
Bishop Wanok also promised to work with his predecessor Bishop Joseph Franzelli, who has asked to remain and serve his retirement at the diocese.
The President donated a car to Bishop Wanok.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has appealed to its faithful and well-wishers to contribute Shs2,000 each to enable it raise funds to set up a television station premised on the faith.
The chairperson Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC), Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa, made the call during Bishop Wanok’s installation.
Fundraising for TV project
“I am speaking on behalf of all the bishops, we need the money with your support. I call upon every person here listening to me that you respond to this appeal. We believe that if every Catholic Christian and every Ugandan of goodwill contributed a minimum of Shs 2,000, we can be able to raise that money,” Bishop Zziwa said.
Last year in June, UEC agreed and directed for the establishment of a Uganda Catholic Television which will be tailored at promoting evangelisation and integral human development of Ugandans.
Bishop Zziwa said the church failed to realise the required funding for the project that was scheduled to be completed early this year.
“That is why last year the bishops resolved to start a national fundraising drive from December 25 up to March 25 this year and we have done quite a good job, however we are yet to realise the money,” Bishop Zziwa said.
He said Uganda Communications Commissions has already issued an operation licence for the television.
The bishop also appealed to Catholic bishops and priests across the country to rally and mobilise Christians to support the project.