Religious leaders from Mityana starts advocacy for family planning

By Alice Lubwama

Faith based organizations from mityana district including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kiyinda–Mityana have partnered with civil societ organizations in the area to advocate for the allocation of more funds for family planning services in the next financial year budget 2018/2019.

During a meeting between religious leaders, government officials and civil society organizations from mityana district and mps on the health committee of parliament led by the chairperson DR Michael Bukenya, the Mityana Diocese Anglican Bishop; Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Kazimba said that said that its their duty as religious leaders to
have a vision for the people in order for them not to perish.

Kazimba adds he supports family planning because it was about family life quoting proverbs chapter 29 verse 18‘‘ it says without vision people will perish and this provokes my ministry and this is actually a force behind what we do. ’´’ he said

Bishop kazimba told the meeting that when he was made a bishop 10 years ago, he realised a missing gap in area of education health, work and development he decided participate more because development is very important, quotes John chapter1o verse taking about having life in abundance .

Kazimba however said that although he supports family planning, but he was not in support of abortion, saying he was an abortion survivor ‘‘my father was a polygamist and my mother attempted to abort,iam th only child in that family now but see now where am , it is the reason why we have to support family planning .

The bishop said that he supports family planning 100% and he has only four children. The district health officer DR Lwasampijja Fred said that with the support of religious leaders and faith for family health initiative an
NGO in Mityana, the district has been able to implement a 5 years family planning costed plan.

The district allocates part of its budget to family planning services such as supplies and educating women and girls on how to use them.

DR Lwasa say that although teenage pregnancy in the district has been reduced to 9.7% in 2015 when they launched this family planning costed plan the percentage has now short up to 19.9 % in 2018 due to shortage of supplies.

Lwasa also points out the biggest challenges they face in implementing the use of family planning services as being low involvement of the males and increasing demand for the supplies compared to the supplies among others.

The chairperson of the health committee of parliament Dr Micheal Bukenya assured the religious leaders that the issues of family planning as well as drug stock outs will be considered as they go through the budget process adding that his committee had already agreed with the family planning consortium to ring fence the money for family planning services.

Amuria Catholic Parish priest issues canonical injunction against Marian prayer group

Members of the Marian prayer group in Soroti district have reacted angrily to the threats of ex-communication from the Catholic Church. On July 10th, Reverend Father Simon Peter Wankya, the St. Patrick Madera Parish priest issued a canonical injunction stopping the activities of Marian prayer group.

In his letter to Maria Gorreti Omadi, the leader of Marian prayer group,   Father Wankya outlined ten reasons why the activities of Marian prayer group contravene the teachings of the Catholic Church. He accused Omadi of among other things of referring to the devotions of the Catholic Church as demonic and fake while claiming that hers is the only authentic and true movement of the church.

He also accused Omadi of constructing a church in her home, recruiting a catechist who conducts Sunday services without the mandate and the guidance of the parish priest and luring people away from the Catholic Church under the pretext of being a seer mandated by Jesus Christ to cure people and exorcise them from powers of Satan among others.

In his letter, Fr. Wankya directed Omadi and her followers to explain their errant practices and seek for guidance or be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. He directed the group to respond to the accusations within a period of two weeks without, which they will be barred from receiving any sacraments from the Catholic Church in addition to being denied a Christian burial.

However, the members of Marian prayer group, say they are not bothered by the accusations leveled against them. Simon Peter Ongareno, the catechist of Marian prayer group, says they decided to move away from the Catholic Church after realizing that priests have strayed away from the teachings of St Peter, the first Vicar of Christ.

He suspects that the Catholic Church leadership could be after them because of the offertory they collect at their church.

Pampilio Otim, a member of Marian prayer group, says they moved away from Madera parish because the parish priest was giving preference to the charismatic renewal movement.

He also accuses Father Wankya of banning the activities of the group without hearing their defense.

Richard Ekemu, the chairperson Marian Prayer group, says despite establishing their own prayer place, they are still Catholics.

The Marian movement allegedly started in Madera parish in 1978 under the leadership of Betty Dominic, a seer from Obalanga in Amuria district. She was succeeded by Maria Gorrety Okadi in 2000. Currently, Marian prayer group in Madera is comprised of 75 members who congregate on Sunday, Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday.

The Marian prayer group, which allegedly started in Rome, Italy, has over 12, 000 priests and Bishops in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia.

-URN

Father Musaala criticizes and quits catholic church, joins Evangelical Orthodox church

By Fr. Anthony Musaala

NO LONGER AT EASE

In my three years of virtual foced exile from Roman Catholicism, I have found myself deeply drawn to the sacred symbolism of the Orthodox Divine Liiturgy and to the more contemplative, less rationalistic theology of the historic Eastern churches.

Paradoxically I am nonetheles also still very charismatic and evangelistically oriented, which is why I was also very excited to discover the wonderfully and curiously named Evangelical Orthodox Church, about one year ago.

This small forty-year old church which is an off shoot of both the Evangelical and Orthodox combines Orthodox theology and worship with an evangelical and charismatic outlook. How quaint.

Also this little church has very warmly welcomed me as a true seeker who may also later have something to offer from my Catholic charismatic background ; wheras ironically my own dear Roman church for reasons it knows best,persists in shutting me out. How odd.

Anyway the Evangelical Orthodox Church or EOC, in abbreviation is truly ‘catholic’ in the best sense of the word, having the fullness of the ancient faith and lacking nothing in their traditions or doctrines which was there from the begining, while carefully reading the scriptures and proclaiming the Risen Lord to elicit conversion.

As a result of this happy discovery, Im afraid that Roman Catholicism, which I have so deeply loved and grown up with , sits less and less well with my soul.

Not only am I unable to accept the impunity with which ecclesiastical authority has unjustly treated me and others but increasingly I am dissatisfied with several other aspects of Roman Catholicism .

One of these is what we call liturgy or worship.

Roman Catholic liturgies seem to have become frozen in their own predictable rubrics and vacuous wordiness. They are not life-giving. The orthodox liturgies I have experienced are very ancient but most prayerful and in the EOC leave more room for charismatic prayer

Roman Catholics no longer have any liturgical chants, no proper icons to venerate, no silences; only spiritual songs, spoken texts and overly ‘realistic’ images and statues which may seem beautiful, but lack depth.

They are mere images by comparison to the striking icons in the Orthodox church which are spiritual and deep, real windows to heaven.

Also the kerygma, the essential saving truth of the gospels, which changes lives is hardly preached by catholic priests. Instead we tend preach legalistic moralism and abstract sermons not related to life, while correctness of ritual take pride of place.

The fruit of this is all too often the dark secrets and abuses within and a too easy accommodation with evil, sin and hypocrisy, especially in the hierarchy. Many see this lack of integrity and authenticity and leave.

While Roman Catholic churches are still full due to infant baptism, this is somewhat illusory According to the most recent figures from the National census Board of Uganda 765,000 christians have left the Catholic church in Uganda in the last ten years.

In another ten or twenty years what will it be llike? Surely things must change. The church must change or die. It died in North Africa which was Catholic in the first four hundred years AD. It is dying in Europe and America.

As charismatics we were often accused of distorting Catholic worship and theology with healing prayers and other forms of spontaneity, and yet many catholics experienced our Masses as life-changing encounters with the Divine rather than as a lifeless rituals.

The priests today are in undignified haste to supply more and more Masses. They are under pressure to multiply Masses for different groups who want ”their Mass”.

Good liturgy requires time for prayer and preparation but often there is no time.Today liturgy in the RC Church has become quantified and even commodified. Mass and even some other sacraments appears as commodities offered for those who can finance a priest

The numerous masses being said for graduations, lumbes, for multiplying outstations, for opening buildings and businesses, houses, you name it, are not necessarily a sign of increasing or deepening spirituality, in my view, but of religiosity, and shrewd income generation by impecunious priests.

There is no such thing as a perfect church of course. Perfection is found in heaven.The church is both human and Divine and I am sure that each one of us, including me have contributed to the good and not so good within the church.

Realistically however and on a personal note there are times when no matter how much you love your ‘home’ it is impossible for you to continue to stay there.So you leave with a heavy heart continuing to love home but from a distance.

Your heart is no longer at ease.

-Bigeye