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Kumi Diocese Clergy Lack Requisite Qualifications for Bishop's Job

Bishop Odurkami, who was responding to issues relating to the ongoing standoff between the Province and Rev. Charles Oode Okunya, said that the embattled priest enjoys the support of several clergies that he noted received training under his leadership during his tenures as the principal of the bible college in Kumi.
The Rt. Rev. John Charles Odurkami the caretaker Bishop appearing for the first time on local radio state owned stationed on Thursday to responding on violent attack on Church

Audio 2

The search for the second bishop of Kumi Diocese might take longer due to the limited number of clerics with the required qualifications. To be a bishop in the Church of Uganda, one must be a holder of a bachelor’s degree in theology and be at least 45 years of age.

However, information from the Caretaker Bishop of Kumi Diocese, Rt. Rev. Charles Odurkami indicates that the diocese has not more than five priests that qualify for the top seat in Kumi Diocese. Appearing on Etop Radio on Sunday evening, the retired Bishop of Lango diocese said that most of the clergy in the diocese are half-baked in theology.

He said that while the Church of Uganda requires a holistic theological training for at least two years for priests, Kumi Diocese has been offering certificates of nine months for priests to be ordained. Bishop Odurkami, who was responding to issues relating to the ongoing standoff between the Province and Rev. Charles Oode Okunya, said that the embattled priest enjoys the support of several clergies that he noted received training under his leadership during his tenures as the principal of the bible college in Kumi.  

// cue in “The priests in Kumi…

Cue out…after nine months,”//

Rev. Okunya, who is currently the education coordinator at Kumi Diocese, was elected the second bishop of Kumi Diocese in November 2019. However, the house of Bishops revised the decision over irregularities in his age. 

The priest, whose case was dismissed by Civil Division Court in Kampala on June 30, 2021, has several followers and supporters in Kumi Diocese. He has the backing of six out of ten archdeaconries that have reportedly declined to remit money to the diocese as required.

However, Rt. Rev. Charles Odurkami says that the clergy following the embattled priest are swayed by their loyalty to their teacher.

//Cue in “Okunya was…

Cue out…they are doing,”//

Before Rev. Okunya was announced as the new bishop, some other names including Rev. Simon Omoding, a Lecturer Uganda Christian University, Mbale Campus and Rev. Simon Ongangu, Kumi diocesan Treasurer among others were rejected.

Although the province did not indicate reasons, the house of Bishops late approved the name of Rev. Okunya. The diocese comprises Kumi, Ngora and Bukedea districts.  It was carved out from Soroti Diocese in 2001.