Omoro — President Museveni has urged church leaders to go beyond the pulpit and educate all the people in the community so as to enhance their participation in socio-economic development
"Let us work not only for the spiritual transformation of faithful but also physically by introducing them to wealth creation to overcome poverty and deprivation of basic needs," he said, adding that the church has the moral duty of improving the welfare of the people by working to eradicate poverty, disease and corruption.
The President's remarks were contained in a speech read by the Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Mr Hillary Onek, during the enthronement of Silvester Kisitu as Bishop for the Orthodox Diocese of Gulu and Eastern Uganda.
The enthronement was presided over by Metropolitan Archbishop Jonah Lwanga at St Lavrentios Orthodox Parish in Rom Village, Koro Sub-county in Omoro District on Sunday.
In the statement, Mr Museveni lauded the church for partnering with the government in areas of development and pledged to continue the good partnership.
"The church in Uganda has been a liable partner of government in terms of social services and economic transformation, the development of human resources in particular, providing our people with wealth and education services. Government appreciates the effort and continuously looks to the church as a partner in development," he said.
The President also encouraged the newly enthroned bishop to seek strength and guidance from God.
"Your new role will require your resolute learning of God for guidance and strength. However, you must draw on the full potential God has given you to perform your duty. It requires your personality of virtue, strong faith, good administrative skills and education to lead your people," he said.
Mr Museveni also contributed Shs10 million towards the construction of a residential house for the new bishop.
Bishop Kisitu said he will bring the joyful message of the Lord to Christians. He noted that in order to achieve success in his leadership, there needs to be faith and unity among the Christians arguing that missionary work is the responsibility of every Christian.
"I assure you that I am here as a humble father in the Lord's name to hear your anxiety, struggle, your restoration and suffering. I am here to bring you the joy and gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ and lead you in the path of salvation," he said.
Bishop Kisitu also called on the youth to surround him in what he described as "his difficult course of work" so that he can hear out their thoughts, suggestions, dreams and problems.
He commiserated with the families that suffered during the 20-decade Lords Resistance Army insurgency in northern Uganda, adding that to date, some people are still finding difficulties in overcoming the atrocities.
The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Ms Betty Aol Ochan, who attended the ceremony, lauded the Orthodox Church for creating a new diocese in northern Uganda.
She called on the new Bishop to work together with the leaders in the sub-region in the socio-economic transformation of the people.