Kabale Diocese Bishop Callistus Rubaramira has suspended eight Catholics, prohibiting them from the reception of sacraments and sacramental. The suspended lot are allegedly heads of the Marian Worker’s Movement, a prayer group in Kabale diocese with alleged links to the infamous Joseph Kibwtere.
Kibwetere was one of the leaders of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, a group that splintered from the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda and became infamous after 778 of its members were found dead in Kanungu district in 2000.
The suspended include Vincent Byabamazima and Ben Arineitwe from Kitanga Parish, Luke Mayanja from Kamwezi Parish in Rukiga district, Rosette Kiconco, Aaroni Buzaare, Felix Barigye and Francis Byaruhanga from Christ the King parish Kabale and Credonia Tindikyeitira from Rushoroza parish in Kabale Municipality.
According to a July 3 letter addressed to the Marian Workers, the Bishop wrote that he had written to them several times warning them of their acts in the diocese but they had become stubborn which was against the cannon law.
“This is the canonical document with a penalty of suspension prohibiting reception of sacraments and sacramentals due to obstinately rejecting injunctions of the competent authority not responding my prohibitions, canon law 1371.” Bishop Rubaramira wrote in the letter.
According to bishop, Marian Workers Movement was banned from the list of catholic movements in Uganda by the Uganda Episcopal conference in June 2000 shortly after the infamous Kanungu incident.
The banned Catholics, however, can be forgiven if they write to the authorities to prove their repentance.
Rev. Fr. Lucian Twinamatsiko, the Chancellor Kabale Diocese told Journalists that the only Lay Apostolate Associations and Movements recognized in Kabale diocese are the Legionionaries of Mary, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, St Jude Thaddeus Association, Eucharistic Crusaders, Xaverian Movement, Holy Family, Praying for the Souls in Purgatory. Others are Catholic Women’s Association, Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, Catholic Students Association, Young Christian Students, Uganda Martyrs Guild, Holy Childhood, Kolping Society, Focolare Movement, Catholic Scouts and Catholic Men Association.
According to Twinomugisha, the group has been conducting secret prayers in the members’ homes every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday without the knowledge of the diocese as well as shunning the devotions of the Catholic Church calling them demonic and fake, while claiming that theirs is the only authentic and true church movement.
Twinomugisha says that they couldn’t wait for the group to cause another tragedy.
Rev. Fr. Mathias Kwehangana, a teacher at St. Adrian Seminary Rubanda in Rubanda district, while leading mass at Christ the King Church in Kabale on Sunday noted the suspension of the group is long overdue because the Catholic Church forbids secret prayers. .
In July 2016, the Marian Workers Movement was also banned in Soroti Diocese for similar reasons.
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