Uganda: Catholic Sect Leaders Were Orthodox Priests

Kampala, Uganda - ORTHODOX Archbishop Jonah Lwanga has said he ordained the two priests who recently started a branch of the US-based Catholic Apostolic National Church in Uganda.

The New Vision recently reported the emergence of the religious sect, which is based in Jinja.

Its leaders claimed to be linked to the Catholic Church.

One of the leaders, the Rev. Leonard Lubega, said he was ordained in 2002 by Archbishop Cyril Tonye in Florida. The other priest is Paul Matovu Sseguya.

However, Lwanga said Lubega and Sseguya started their training in 2001, were ordained deacons in 2002 and as priests in 2003.

"I ordained the two priests in 2003 at Namungoona Orthodox Church," said Lwanga.

"If they want to become lay Christians, they have to come back here and before the entire synod and Christians so that we withdraw the orders from them," Lwanga added.

He also disclosed that the two priests had misunderstandings with the church leadership.

"After ordination, the two become wild, especially Sseguya who was posted to Kireku in Mityana."

Lwanga said he received complaints from Mityana over Sseguya's conduct, adding that the priest was warned several times over errant behaviour.

"When I summoned him, Sseguya said he would come by December 25 2009. However, I later heard that he teamed up with his colleague in Jinja and formed a sect," Lwanga explained.

He also criticised the Government for registering the group which he said operated on wrong orders.

The Catholic Church is also investigating its priest, Fr. William Obonyo, a lecturer at Kampala International University, who is said to belong to the same sect.