Catholics mark ten years of Pope Francis, condemn gays

The Archbishop of Kampala Paul Ssemogerere (centre) with pupils of St Peter’s Nsambya Primary School and other officials from the Church pose with the portrait of Pope Francis to celebrate 10 years of the Pope at Rubaga Cathedral on March 29, 2023.  PHOTO | SYLIVIA KATUSHABE  

What you need to know:

  • Archbishop Ssemogerere noted that the Catholic Church in Uganda will come up with one position after analysing and discussing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, which Parliament passed on March 21. 

The Catholic Church in Kampala has condemned homosexuality as sinful and must be fought by all followers. 
Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere of the Archdiocese of Kampala said the Church is right to condemn homosexuality as evil and should not be condoned. 
He made the statement during celebrations to mark 10 years of Pope Francis in service in Kampala on Wednesday.

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Archbishop Ssemogerere said the Catholic Church will not accept marrying people of the same since it is condemned in the Bible.
“We shouldn’t condone what the church takes as evil, so homosexual tendencies and acts according to the teachings of the Catholic Church are sinful and Jesus came to fight sin. So if we are fighting immorality that’s fine, but you should know that Jesus came to fight sin but did not to fight a sinner,” Archbishop Ssemogerere said.
He added: “So if the Pope (Francis) condemned immorality that is the right thing. If the Church condemns what is against the Bible that is the right thing.”
However, the Archbishop explained that when Pope Francis said that homosexuality is a sin and not a crime, he was misunderstood, saying  Jesus came for sinners but not to take us as criminals.
“There are so many sins that we commit every day that don’t take us to prison. Many of the people in society have eloped with other people’s wives, how many are in prison?” the Archbishop asked.
He added: “I think when you are homosexual and you are enticing this young person, you do the act and using all the money you have and you make him sick, the poor person goes to the hospital because of what you have done, that is a crime then. It is child abuse.”
Archbishop Ssemogerere also noted that the Catholic Church in Uganda will come up with one position after analysing and discussing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, which Parliament passed on March 21. 
“Regarding what has come out of Parliament once we have the entire Bill, as Fathers of the Catholic Church we will come together to discuss that Bill and give the position of the Catholic Church in Uganda.”
The Church of Uganda has disagreed with the Church of Canterbury, England, over blessing same-sex marriages. 
The recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill prescribes tough penalties for offences on participation, promotion, facilitation, and the failure to report acts of homosexuality. 
It now waits for President Museveni to sign it before it becomes law.
On March 21, Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023. These are some of the penalties;
•  Death penalty for engaging in aggravated homosexuality
•20 years in jail for engaging in acts of homosexuality
• Life sentence for an individual convicted of committing the offence of homosexuality
• Attempt ing to perform a homosexual act could attract a seven-year jail term
• A three- year jail sentence  for a child convicted of the act of homosexuality in accordance with  section 94(1) (g) of the Children Act, 1997
• 10-year  jail sentence for anyone convicted of  recruiting  a child for homosexuality
• 10-year prison sentence for individuals who own,  occupy or manage premises or knowingly allow the premises to be used for acts of homosexuality 
• 10-year jail term for a person contracts a marriage with a person of the same-sex, presides over a same-sex marriage ceremony or knowingly participates in preparation of a   same-sex marriage