24 December 2012

Uganda: Archbishop Lwanga Tells Prisoners to Reconcile

The Archbishop of Kampala Diocese Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has asked prisoners to use their presence in jail as an opportunity to reconcile with the people they offended.

"Some of you are here because of the crime that you committed while others were convicted due to circumstantial evidence. Despite the challenges you encounter, use your presence here to repent your sins," he requested.

The Archbishop made this remarks during his pastoral visit to Luzira Maximum Security Prison where he visited Luzira Women's prison, Murchison Bay Prison, Kampala Remand and Luzira Upper Prison.

His message was centered on instilling discipline, love, perseverance and hope among the inmates. He preached the need to manage anger and strong emotions which he said have led many youth into jail.

"Do for others what you would want them do for you, you should avoid taking decisions when you are annoyed. Some of you have been jailed because of that. You must be sober when reacting on anything that has angered you," he cautioned.

Christmas comes with good news and many Christians use it to reflect on their past and lay strategies to live a better future.

During his pastoral visit, the inmates saw light and decided to abandon their tainted image of which a total of seven convicts sought the sacraments of baptism while 69 received confirmation. Among those who received confirmation were five inmates on death row.

With the coming of Christ signifying the end of suffering for mankind, the inmates who received the sacraments left with great hope that their burdens had been taken away from them.

The cleric appealed to the congregation to remain devoted to their faith.

He said that only Christ has solutions to their problems and commended the Prisons authority for giving prisoners freedom of worship.

"There is no permanent situation and with prayers things can change. Some of you were sentenced to death but who knows, God can reverse your sentence to a lighter one," the Archbishop said.

He further asked the inmates to make use of the rehabilitation programs offered by prison as an opportunity to acquire skills that will benefit them out of jail.

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