22 February 2017

Uganda: Let Church Rise Above Politics

editorial

The Church of Uganda Archbishop, the Most Reverend Stanley Ntagali, and the former United Nations under-secretary for Children and Armed Conflict, Ambassador Olara Otunnu, are at cross-purposes.

Their disparate views stem from an incident on February 16 when the primate midway liturgy walked off the pulpit to receive a government delegation led by Vice President Edward Ssekandi.

This was a church service to honour the martyrdom, 40 years ago, of Archbishop Janani Luwum slain during President Idi Amin's reign.

It is not our intention to judge who between the Archbishop and Ambassador Otunnu is right or wrong.

We, however, underline based on tradition and practice the inviolable nature of church worship.

The core values of the Church of Uganda, according to information on its website, include Godliness, faithfulness to Holy Scriptures, upholding biblical family values, integrity, selfless service and unconditional love and unity in Christ.

These luminous tenets undergird its sanctity as an institution whose members are equal, clothing it and its leaders from genuflection to earthly treasure.

The church should, as it does, be welcoming to all --- the weak and strong, deprived and rich, tall and short --- who come to it in humility to renew their faith in God.

It is regrettable that last Thursday's incident at Mucwini in Kitgum District partly distracted the public from Archbishop Ntagali's central message for believers to emulate Luwum's legacy.

The Archbishop died in defence of Ugandans against the country's macabre governance; he placed selflessness above personal interest; spoke truth to power when capitulating to State authority was the convenience and rewarding option; and, shepherded the flock instead of massaging political ego of the day.

These were seminal issues and intractable challenges in the 1970s as they are today. The Church is a moral compass and conscience of society and should, therefore, deploy its clout to end rights violations, discrimination, extra-judicial killings and the menace of glorifying power and wealth that have snowballed corruption in Uganda.

Believers hold with abiding faith, as enunciated by the Church of England, that liturgy is not a mere ritual.

"Anglicans' liturgical celebrations arise directly out of the mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ and are part of the very means by which they enter into that mystery," the Church notes.

In Mark 12:17, Jesus said: "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Let the Church of Uganda fulfill its stated mission to be a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, spirit-filled Anglican Church engaged in the mission of Jesus Christ, not man.

The issue: Church values.

Our view: Let the Church of Uganda fulfill its stated mission to be a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, spirit-filled Anglican Church engaged in the mission of Jesus Christ, not man.

Uganda

Where do 'Idi Amin' Rhinos Belong?

Uganda and Kenya are bickering over white rhinos that were evacuated from the country during former president Idi Amin's… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 The Monitor. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.