What you need to know:
Two Christians early this month sued Archbishop Kaziimba and the Church of Uganda, alleging irregularities in the nomination and election of Bishop Loum
Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has warned believers against sabotaging the Church’s succession processes.
Archbishop Kaziimba made the remarks during the consecration of Rev Godfrey Loum as the 8th bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda in Gulu District at the weekend.
“Matters of church leadership should and must not be solved in courts of law. I call upon all Christians and church ministers to always ensure peaceful transitions in our church,” he said.
He was referring to the recent attempt by Christians to block the consecration of Rev Loum through court.
Two Christians early this month sued Archbishop Kaziimba and the Church of Uganda, alleging irregularities in the nomination and election of Bishop Loum. But they withdrew the case on November 18 following an out-of-court mediation.
Archbishop Kaziimba applauded the Christians through the intervention of Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo for acting swiftly and settling the matter out of court.
“I thank you for this act of maturity in settling this matter without interfering with the consecration exercise today and especially the Chief Justice for your humility towards the church. I want to call upon the Christians of northern Uganda to support this bishop,” Archbishop Kaziimba said.
He stated that it was his prayer that all the other dioceses which are still entangled in transition wrangles borrow a leaf from northern Uganda.
In this case, Archbishop Kaziimba cautioned Christians in Kumi Diocese against politicising the transition process in the diocese by supporting the enthronement of Rev Charles Oode Okunya.
“We continue to pray for Kumi Diocese where acts of hooliganism continue to prevail after Rev Okunya lost a case against the Church. To the Christians of Kumi, let it be known to you that Rev Okunya can never become a bishop,” he said.
He added: “No clergy can become a bishop by force, or using courts of law. When somebody takes the Church to court, he automatically disqualifies himself...”
On February 1, 2020, the House of Bishops said Rev Okunya’s election be revoked on grounds that he falsified his age yet he was younger than the minimum age of 45 to serve as bishop.
An aggrieved Rev Okunya sued CoU trustees, contesting his disqualification on grounds of age, but Justice Musa Ssekaana threw out the case. Since then, the diocese has been embroiled in squabbles, pitting pro-Okunya Christians against priests suspected to have masterminded his downfall.