Masaka — West Buganda Diocesan leaders under the Church of Uganda have ex-communicated Rev. Cornelious Kateregga Bakubanja over his close ties with a rival Church.
Rev. Bakubanja, 61, a senior pastor attached to Kyampagi Church of Uganda in Kyotera District, had five months ago indicated that he wanted to quit Church of Uganda and champion doctrines of Orthodox Anglican Church.
Canon Samuel Mwesigwa, the West Buganda Diocesan Secretary said the excommunicated priest had earlier requested to retire from Church service though his request was left pending over lack of clear reasons until they learnt about his intentions of establishing a new faith on social media.
"An official communication was made during the diocesan council which sat at Kako SS recently, where priests were warned of dealing with him after he masterminded the introduction of the Orthodox Anglican Church whose doctrines are different from those of the Anglican faith," Canon Mwesigwa said during an interview with Daily Monitor.
He added that three lay readers were also excommunicated for accepting to be ordained by Rev. Bakubanja, noting that such incidences are regrettable. "We were left with no choice, but to relieve them of their duties."
The lay readers include; Erusa Nawamiki,Emmanuel Rusangizi and Emmanuel Musasizi.
When contacted Rev. Bakubanja mocked the diocesan leaders, saying their decision was meaningless since he had already left Church of Uganda and his "move was clear to everyone".
"I served God for a period of more than 30 years as a priest, joining another path to continue serving God is not a crime and I don't regret it. Once the Bishop realizes the real intentions of our faith, (he) will have to join the fellowship," he said.
Bakubanja further urged West Buganda diocesan leaders to always invite him to their diocesan sittings as an overseer if they are to return and maintain the right path rather than sidelining him.
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.
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. One is free to receive Holy Communion so long as he is baptized.
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.
Who is Rev. Bakubanja
Rev. Bakubanja was born on September 24, 1956 at Gayaza Village Kyotera, started serving as a catechist 1980 and later ordained as a priest in 1984, served in various churches including Kimwanyi, Lwamabala, Ssunga, Nabusanke, Nkozi National Teachers College as a chaplain and later Kyampagi Church of Uganda were he resigned on September 24 last year.He has also served as a head teacher at Kakoma SS , Namuganga SS and Kakabajjo SS where he retired and started running his own School of Gayaza SS in Kyotera Town Council were he also conducts his Sunday services now.
He prides himself to have reached at a level the of 'Very Reverend' in the Anglican church and now ordained Vicar general in the Orthodox Anglican awaiting to become its first Bishop in Uganda.
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.