Speaking to Uganda Radio Network over the weekend, Archbishop Odama says Fr Onen’s decision to join politics goes against the church’s customs on conducts of priests which is likely to stir division among the flocks they lead.
The Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese John Baptist Odama has
spoken out on the suspension of Rev. Fr. Charles Onen from
conducting priestly ministry and justified that the decision was inevitable.
Fr. Onen, the curate of Holy Rosary Catholic Parish was
suspended by Archbishop Odama last month for engaging in
active politics. Fr. Onen had expressed interest in contesting for the Gulu City East Division Parliamentary
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network - URN today,
Archbishop Odama says Fr. Onen’s decision to join politics goes against the
church’s customs and conducts of priests which is likely to stir division among
the flocks they lead.
He cites that during ordination, Fr. Onen like any other
priest was given flocks to look after in the church, but notes that his deviation
into partisan politics won’t make him a suitable person.
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Archbishop Odama says it was necessary to relieve Fr. Onen his duties from the church to disconnect his political conduct from that of the
church. He however says that Fr. Onen is free to make a comeback if
he realizes his mistake but notes that the archdiocese will initiate processes for
him to first undergo before reinstatement.
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Fr. Onen didn’t immediately respond on this matter by press
time saying he was busy. However, while addressing the press recently in Gulu, Fr.
Onen noted that he had earlier requested Archbishop Odama to relieve him from
church duties to allow him engage in politics calling the suspension a
“blessing”. He said leadership is a calling that he wished to extend beyond the
church to other people of diverse denominations.
Fr. Onen who has been duly nominated on an independent ticket by the Electoral Commission will tussle it out with five other aspirants in the race for Gulu City East
Division Parliamentary seat. The others in the race are; Geoffrey
Komakech (FDC), John Bosco Uhuru (Independent), Mwaka Lutukumoi (Independent),
Simon Opoka (DP) and Robert Adongakulu (ANT).