The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stephen Kazimba Mugalu has appointed Retired Bishop James William Ssebaggala as caretaker of Luweero Diocese.
The appointment after Rt. Rev. Eridard Kironde Nsubuga abdicated and handed over the Ecclesiastical authority to Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu upon making 65 years of mandatory retirement with effect from 9th July this year.
The Diocesan Chancellor declared the seat of the Luweero bishop vacant after Bishop Nsubuga relinquished his Episcopal Jurisdiction.
In his letter dated 14th July, Archbishop Kaziimba Mugalu appointed Rt. Rev James William Ssebaggala the retired Bishop of Mukono to serve as caretaker of Luweero diocese with effect from Tuesday 18th July 2023 to 18th March 2024.
Kaziimba said that this follows a request by the nomination committee for an extension of time to organize themselves and nominate new candidates for the vacant bishop seat following the nullification of Rev. Canon Kasana Godfrey Ssemakula as the Bishop-elect of Luwero Diocese.
Kaziimba said that Bishop Ssebaggala’s roles will include pastoral oversight of the diocese on his behalf, carrying out the ministry of preaching of the Word of God, and overseeing the administration of the diocese.
Following the abdication of Bishop Eridard Nsubuga on 9th July 2023, I have appointed Rt Rev James William Ssebaggala, retired Bishop of Mukono Diocese as the caretaker Bishop of Luweero Diocese with effect from Tuesday 18th July 2023 to 18th March 2024. pic.twitter.com/HwldoZBH1x
— Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba (@Archbp_COU) July 15, 2023
Kaziimba added that the caretaker will also carry out the confirmation and baptism of both adults as well as infants.
The caretaker will also ordain priests, install canons, transfer them as well as prepare the diocese for healing and reconciliation till a new bishop is elected and consecrated.
Bishop Ssebaggala will also call meetings such as diocesan councils, Boards, and Diocesan Synods and report to Archbishop.
Kaziimba said that the caretaker will be entitled to a basic salary of 75% and a housing allowance of 25% of the preceding bishop among other benefits to enable him to execute the roles.
Bishop Ssebaggala is required to reside and operate from his residence in Mukono.
Kaziimba indicated in the letter that he has already talked with Bishop Ssebaggala on the phone and he agreed with the appointment.
The House of Bishops ordered fresh nominations from the Diocesan Nominations Committee within a period of one month, ending 31st July 2023.
The House of Bishops was supposed to receive fresh nominations for the next Bishop of Luwero and hold elections on 1st August 2023.
The consecration and enthronement of the 4th Bishop of Luweero was scheduled for Sunday, 6th August 2023, at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Luweero.
However, a section of Christians rejected the road map saying the process was being done in haste whereas others loyal to Rev. Canon Kasana Ssemakula also insisted that his election was unfairly nullified.
Its believed that after eight months, the caretaker bishop will reconcile the Christians and the church issue a fresh roadmap for the consecration of the new bishop.
But Erastus Kibirango the LC 5 Chairman of Luwero district says that the appointment of Bishop Ssebaggala is within the canon laws but they still insist that Rev. Canon Kasana Ssemakula’s election was unfairly nullified and they will continue to push that he is consecrated because he is ready for it.
A section of Christians led by Kenneth R. Kikabi, a congregant at St. Mark Cathedral petitioned Archbishop Kaziimba Mugalu demanding the nullification of the election accusing Kasana of siring a child outside the wedlock in contravention of the ten commandments and canon laws.
Bishop Ssebaggala was consecrated as the fourth Bishop of Mukono Diocese on September 19, 2010, and served till he retired in early 2023 after clocking the mandatory 65 years.
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