What you need to know:
- The Diocese of Kampala advised the public to use the Lent season for self-reflection, fasting, repentance and bringing family and national issues to the Lord for individual and community transformation.
Cleric after cleric used Ash Wednesday to ask Christians to shun homosexuality as they kick-start the 40-day fasting period known as Lent that climaxes into Easter celebrations.
The clerics also urged Christians to use the Lent period to turn away from sin, be faithful, prayerful and help the needy.
At Christ the King Church in Kampala, Fr Remigius Sserugga asked the faithful to put aside their will and allow that of God to prevail.
“During this period, the will of God must take priority and we must know that as we do the will of the Father, our will must come second, detesting all things that can estrange us from God, can estrange us from God, the things that are ungodly and getting used to the things that are Godly,” he said.
The Diocese of Kampala advised the public to use the Lent season for self-reflection, fasting, repentance and bringing family and national issues to the Lord for individual and community transformation.
While addressing journalists at the diocesan offices at All Saints Church in Kampala yesterday, Rev Dr Hannington Mutebi, the assistant Bishop of Kampala Diocese, said Christians should combine forces to fight homosexuality which has hit schools and is currently a big threat because it is a global agenda to destroy the young generation.
He added that as a Church and founders of schools, they have observed that the failure by parents, teachers and government to manage schools has escalated and aided the vice.
At Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine in Namugongo, the rector, Rev Fr Vincent Lubega, called upon Christians to be repentant during Lent.
“This is the period to dedicate a time every day to look through your life vis-à-vis the commandments and teachings of the Church and if at all there is any need to amend, this is the time and the best way to amend is to go for confession,” Rev Fr Lubega said.
In Fort Portal City, Bishop Reuben Kisembo of Ruwenzori Diocese based his Lent message on Isaiah 58:1-11, which says: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”
Bishop Kisembo explained that true fasting is about repenting from all forms of wickedness such as land grabbing, drug abuse, and all forms of sexual promiscuity, including homosexuality.
“As Church, we condemn the act of homosexuality, corruption, greed, selfishness, violation of human rights; let us do good to the needy, orphans, widows, elderly, disabled. Let us overcome evil with good,” he said.
Bishop George Turyasingura of East Ruwenzori Diocese, asked Christians to use the Lent period to forgive one another, pray for others and help the poor.
“Lent season is a time to reflect on our faith, daily activities. Jesus Christ was oppressed but he forgave those who oppressed him. As Christians, we need to learn from him,” he said.
On homosexuality, Bishop Turyasingura said: “We cannot allow such in Uganda. God created a man and woman to multiply, now can a man, after marrying fellow man, produce? We condemn such evil.”
In Lira, the Bishop of Lira Catholic Diocese, Rt Rev Sanctus Lino Wanok, called on Christians luring people into homosexuality to utilise this Lent season for repentance and seek God’s blessings.
He said God cannot bless what he considers to be sin, and that the Catholic Church will not accept homosexuality.
“Don’t lure anybody into the sin of homosexuality as it is not human; it is death, which humanity must repent against. God wants salvation for that person and that person can be saved if we relieve him from that,” Bishop Wanok said.
Bishop Wanok said homosexuality is unacceptable and that the Bible condemns it, but since salvation is promised for everyone, including homosexuals, they should repent from such acts.
He said God designed that a man and a woman should meet in order to marry and whoever is engaging in homosexual acts is directly contradicting God’s creation.
“It is a shameful thing actually, they are mocking the Church by saying we want blessings for our union. That mockery should stop, otherwise, it is offensive to God as our creator,” he explained.
In Kabale District, the parish priest at Christ the King Church in Kabale Town, Fr Fred Birungi, asked Christians to shun sin, bad behaviour and also use the Lent season to repent all their sins and come closer to God for spiritual healing and blessings.
In Bushenyi District, Fr Ulbano Muhumuza of St Kagwa Parish, urged Christians to use the 40 days of Lent as a mirror to reflect and repent their past mistakes, and renew their baptism commitments to God.
“Those who want to help others during this Lent season must stop the habit of using cameras while giving their support to the old and the needy, especially during this period of Lent,” he said.
In Kasese District, at St Paul’s Cathedral in South Rwenzori Diocese, Rt Rev Alfred Olwa, the Bishop of Lango Diocese, who is currently in Kasese District, presided over the service, saying during Lent, Christians should imitate the life of Jesus Christ.
“As we imitate the life of Christ in the wilderness, let us live humble, holy and faithful lives. Without all these, you might not be able to achieve what you desire because you would be regarded as a sinner before God,” Bishop Olwa said.
In Luweero District, at Kasana-Luweero Cathedral, Rev Fr Henry Luninze urged Christians to maintain the Christian values during and after the Lent season.
In Mityana District, Christians gathered at Kiyinda Cathedral to attend Ash Wednesday Mass led by Bishop Joseph Antony Zziwa.
Bishop Zziwa asked the Christians to use the Lent season to strengthen their faith.
Masaka Bishop Serverus Jjumba told Christians who gathered at Our Lady of Sorrow Cathedral Kitovu to use the Lent period to strengthen their relationship with God.
In Tororo, Rev Joseph Kamisa of St Jude Malaba Catholic Church, urged the faithful to avoid offending others but instead promote love for one another.
In Mbarara City, Fr Didas Kasapuli, the parish priest of Uganda Martyrs Catholic Parish, asked Christians to use the Lent season to repent their sins.
“Use this Lent period to help the needy and repent your sins so as to welcome Jesus Christ in your hearts. Let us stop the bad behaviours that have eaten up our society,” he said.
Fr AGabito Arinaitwe, a curate at Uganda Martyrs Catholic Parish, said it is unfortunate that some people have started practicing homosexuality and lesbianism, claiming it is part of human rights.
“Some people are now not aware of the gospel. It’s time we turn away from our evil deeds and turn back to the Lord,” he said.
Fr Emmanuel Baguma, the parish priest at St Charles Lwanga Town Church in Fort Portal City, used the Ash Wednesday event to ask Christians to remain disciplined.
Compiled by Lydia Felly Akullu, Frank Baguma, Alex Ashaba, Felix Ainebyoona, Julius Byamukama, Coslin Nakayiira, Robert Muhereza, Milton Bandiho, Al Mahdi Ssenkabirwa, Dan Wandera, Jessica Nabukenya, Richard Kyanjo, Brian Kesiime, Joseph Omollo, Fred Wambede, Moureen Biira, Ismail Bategeka, Stephen Otage & Charity Akullo