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Catholic Church Continues to Ask Questions, Parishes to Hold Mass on Thursday

The Archbishop of Kampala, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga

The late Kampala Archbishop Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga

The Roman Catholic Church in Uganda continues to seek answers to questions on what could have led to the death of Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga as well as the former Bishop of Masaka Diocese John Baptist Kaggwa, earlier in the year.

While Archbishop Lwanga died in his bed last week, as a result of heart failure, according to medical reports, his colleague Bishop Kaggwa died after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in January. “It was sudden and untimely, by human standards and it has created despondence, doubt and depression within us,” The Bishop of Masaka Diocese Rt Rev Serverus Jjumba said, before asking what is happening to the Church in Uganda.

He was presiding over a requiem Mass for the late Cyprian Kizito Lwanga at the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, Wednesday. This was partly in recognition of his contribution to the development of the area to its current status, especially when he was Chancellor of the Archdiocese in the early 1980s.

The late cleric was known for his hard stance against violation of human rights by government agencies, as well as other social injustices. “We’re talking to ourselves, we’re asking ourselves questions as to what has happened, it is the talk of the town,” said Jjumba.

Without explaining much, the Bishop recited and equated the current situation to the biblical journey of two disciples of Jesus to Emmaus who were disturbed by the death of their leader. Quoting the Bible, Bishop Jjumba reminded the congregation of Jesus’ rebuke of the “foolish” disciples for not understanding the scriptures, that Jesus would die and resurrect. 

“…Jesus is aware of the things that have been happening to us,” he said. He said Ugandans will miss the fallen prelate as “a voice of the voiceless,” which was also repeated by the Head of Laity of the archdiocese, Ivan Kalanzi who wondered why “God takes away good people and leaves the thieves and the corrupt and killers.” He hailed him as a very forgiving man, hardworking, honest and firm in his fight for human rights.

The central government hailed Dr Lwanga for working to maintain a cordial relationship with the government and other religious denominations. The Minister of State for Housing Dr Chris Baryomunsi, who represented the government described the fallen cleric as a patriotic Ugandan.

“We salute Archbishop Lwanga as a development-oriented person who championed a lot of works to improve the quality of the lives of Ugandans,” said Baryomunsi, adding that the fallen Archbishop was a firm believer in peace and harmony, lived and preached reconciliation and unity, and wanted everyone to live in peace and harmony.

Dr Baryomunsi explained the cause of death as per the postmortem report, in a bid to answer the question that continues to be asked and debated by the Ugandan public at different fora, including social media. Baryomunsi assured Ugandans that diseases that attack the heart can cause instant death without any prior warnings.

On Tuesday, President Museveni challenged the medical personnel to explain how a known health issue that had a committed team of doctors, could result in sudden death, without the doctor detecting the impending incident.

Meanwhile, the interim Administrator of Kampala Archdiocese, Monsignor Charles Kasibante directed all parishes in the archdiocese to hold simultaneous requiem masses on Thursday at 10 am when the burial will be going on at St Mary’s Cathedral Lubaga.



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