By Mike Ssegawa
Holy Thursday was in the words of Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga a miraculous one. He was so right.
Dr Lwanga, made a pronouncement that rocked through the Catholic church in Uganda when he readmitted rebel priests Anthony Musaala and Deogratius Ssonko. The priest had left the church and joined sects associated with the Catholic church.
Fr Musaala is a popular priest, most known for his gospel music. Before he walked out of the church he disagreed with the archbishop of Kampala for being denied to celebrate key sacraments such as hearing confessions and saying mass. Musaala had also authored a document saying priests that want to marry should be allowed so. What Musaala insinuated was equalled to heresis. During his time out of the Catholic faith, Musaala looked lost and on several occasions expressed desire to return to flock.
The other rebel priest Friend Jacinto Kibuuka who also disobeyed his bishop went ahead to be consecrated bishop. He had taken with him a number of priests including From Ssonko.
Dr Lwanga has faced criticism for what is seen as high handedness in cracking down on errant priests instead of being fatherly.
However, holy Thursday was indeed a miracle. The announcement of the readmission of the rebel priests will cast Lwanga in new light. It will also teach priests the right way to behave before their bishop.
Whereas a priest is ordained into priesthood forever but the act of apologizing publicly is a big lesson. Fr Musaala did the right thing to return to where he belongs. The Catholic fraternity should also welcome him with both hands like the Biblical prodigal son.
Archbishop Lwanga had also effectively isolated Bishop Kibuuka whose rebellion found validation in other priests who left Dr Lwanga’s flock. In the single act of mercy, Dr Lwanga emerges the winner. He is a father who disciplines and forgives his children, as they deserve. We look forward to the day Kibuuka too will return as From Kibuuka!
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