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UGANDA: Church of Uganda Diocese Blocks Retirement of Priest

UGANDA: Church of Uganda Diocese Blocks Retirement of Priest

By Ivan Kimbowa
Junr 6, 2017

RAKAI, UGANDA -- West Buganda Diocesan leaders under Church of Uganda have blocked the resignation of a priest who recently announced that, he intends to establish the Orthodox Anglican Church in Uganda.

Rev. Cornelious Kateregga Bakubanja , 60, is a senior pastor attached to Kyampagi Church of Uganda in Kyotera County, Rakai District.

He maintains that after serving in the Church of Uganda, he wants to move on and champion doctrines of Orthodox Anglican Church.

But in an interview last week, Canon Samuel Mwesigwa, the West Buganda Diocesan Secretary said Rev. Bakubanja's resignation caught them by surprise which implies that they need to "study the matter" before a final decision about his retirement is taken.

"At first, we thought he was just resigning, but later on we learnt of his next move from the various postings he made on social media and decided to discuss this matter at length as the diocesan administration .Of course, we are closely following his actions and we shall pronounce our official position at an appropriate time," Canon Mwesigwa said.

Currently, Rev. Bakubanja conducts Sunday services in the main hall of his privately owned Gayaza Senior Secondary School in Kyotera Town Council.

According to a certificate of registration from the registrar of companies, Rev.Bakubanja's new faith has about 200 followers; all from Rakai District, where he plans to set up a theological college and headquarters.

He says he currently works closely with the Orthodox Anglican faith which has roots in North Carolina, USA.

"I have already moved ahead and as I talk, I have been elevated to status of vicar general in this new Church and I have eventually registered it in Uganda," he said

According to Rev. Bakubanja , he converted to the faith to continue with his evangelical vocation and be able to administer the Holy Communion among other sacraments.

"The Church of Uganda authorities were not willing to retain me in service when I clock my retirement age yet I still feel committed to serving the lord," he said. "So, I had to get another place where I can continue serving my Lord until I die."

He said unlike in the Anglican Church the doctrine of the Orthodox Anglican faith does not bar believers who are not confirmed and married in Church from receiving Holly Eucharist.

He says as long as one is baptised, they are free to receive Holy Communion.

The Orthodox Anglican Church is a global movement of Christians that are said to be committed to the historical canonical teachings of the traditional Anglican faith.

It was established in 1963 by Bishop James Parker Dees, who had quit the Episcopal Church due to what he described as "immoral policies and errors in the doctrines of the faith."

The Church's chief priest holds the title of 'Primate' a Latin word meaning the chief bishop or archbishop of a province.

Their current head is; Primate Thomas E. Gordon who assumed office in 2015 as the sixth Presiding Bishop of communion of national church with affiliates in 22 countries around the world.

Ideally, the Church of Uganda retires its ordinary priests who clock 65 years, implying that Rev. Bakubanja had five more years to go.

In 2010, Rev. Bakubanja emerged among the three candidates that had been shortlisted by the West Buganda Diocesan Electoral College, in their search for a new bishop but he lost to the late Rt Rev. Godfrey Makumbi.

In the meantime, Rev. Bakubanja says upon successful registration of the religion in Uganda, his next step will be seeking authority from the government to wed couples.

"I officially resigned in the Church of Uganda and also declared my next move and they considered it as a joke, until when they realised my seriousness. Recently, the Diocesan Council tried to engage me at Kako (Diocesan Headquarters) imploring me to reconsider my decision ,but I strongly explained to them on how I am transformed and filled with new divine anointment to preach the word of God like never before," he said.

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