Rubaga, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Bishop Paul Ssemogerere, the Apostolic Administrator of Kampala Archdiocese has warned the newly ordained priests to forget about being rich and put all their efforts towards serving God’s children.
The bishop made the remarks on Saturday afternoon at Sacred Heart of Mary Cathedral-Rubaga during a scientific ordination ceremony where 17 deacons were made priests and 18 seminarians named deacons.
While preaching before the ordination, Bishop Ssemogerere who is also the ordinary of Kasaana-Luweero diocese beseeched the ordained to liken their lives to Jesus Christ the Great Arch-Priest and not use their vocations for material wealth. He said they should understand from the very start, that priesthood is not a money making venture.
Ssemogerere noted that earthly wealth can corrupt the royal priesthood at the expense of the cardinal role of evangelization. It has been reported by some that some priests own properties with some hiding them in names of their close friends or relatives.
Although a diocesan priests does not take a vow of poverty, they are expected to lead a life of simplicity consonant with the people they serve. Nonetheless, diocesan priests make other promises at ordination including; living in chastity, respecting and being obedient to the bishop and his successors.
However, vows of poverty are sometimes taken by priests who are part of religious congregations and societies within the Catholic Church, such as Franciscans, and Dominicans.
Meanwhile, the bishop also turned to the faithful, especially family and friends to priests, asking them to desist from asking financial help from priests but instead support, pray and guide them so as they fulfill their responsibilities.
The candidates who have received Holy Orders had waited for more than one year since they had to be ordained in 2020. Due to the first COVID-19 restrictions, the function was postponed.
This year, the church had to get special permission from the government waiving guidelines which bar congregations in places of worship and therefore there were no usual pomp that comes from the crowds that gather at the cathedral from different corners of the archdiocese.
However, like any other event of the church observed during the COVID-19 pandemic times, it was broadcast on different media platforms with a few invited guests, mainly parents of the ordained physically present.
Usually, future candidates for holy orders are elevated onto levels of church acolytes and lectors instituting them for service at the altar to assist the priests or deacon and to proclaim the reading during mass respectively. However, with COVID-19 related effects this group was not part of the Saturday function.
In the same development, Bishop Ssemogerere and leaders of the lay faithful of Kampala archdiocese used the function to court government to reopen places of worship arguing that they can observe SOPs more and control crowding of congregant.
However, Dr. Chris Byaryomunsi the minister in charge of ICT and National Guidance, who had represented the prime minister told them to patiently wait as the government is still studying the situation and eventually at the right time the place of worship will be reopened again.