AFRICA/UGANDA - "Too much violence, national reconciliation is needed", say the Bishops during the celebrations for the Ugandan Martyrs

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - "Since we have just come out of the elections, I want to underline the words of the Holy Father that we must be witnesses to the heritage of living a life of reconciliation, mutual respect and justice, which translates into authentic peace", said the Bishop of Masaka, Mgr. Severus Jjumba, in his homily for the Ugandan Martyrs' Day celebrations, held on June 3 at the Shrine of Namugongo. Bishop Jjumba, who presided over the celebrations, urged Christians to emulate the Ugandan martyrs who died for their faith.
The celebrations this year saw the Bishops join their voices in denouncing the increase in violence in the country.
Mgr. Jjumba was joined by His Exc. Mgr. Paul Ssemogerere, Bishop of Kasana-Luweero, and Apostolic Administrator of Kampala, who said: "we live in a society in which fraternity is gradually disintegrating", recalling the attempted murder of General Wamala, in an attack in which his daughter and driver were killed. On June 1, Minister of Transport, General Edward Katumba Wamala, escaped an ambush in Kampala, but his daughter and the driver lost their lives in the attack.
"We send our deepest condolences for this loss and pray for his speedy recovery, as we are close to the driver's family and pray that God will strengthen them in this difficult time", said Mgr. Ssemogerere, who then invited the criminals to conversion: "We are all created in the image of God. Any act of violence against any human being is a direct attack on God in whose image we have been created".
The Bishop of Kiyinda-Mityana, Mgr. Anthony Joseph Antony Zziwa, President of the Bishops' Conference of Uganda, urged everyone to pray incessantly for the country in the face of the spread of killings and other forms of violence.
In their message, read at the end of the Eucharistic celebration at the Shrine of Namugongo, the Bishops denounce the spread of "murders, land conflicts, corruption and torture", the detention of several people in "known and unknown places" and have called for the release of political prisoners.
"We ask all Christians, believers and people of good will to pray and work for peace in our country" exhort the Bishops, who thank God "who has kept us alive during this difficult period due to the Covid-19 pandemic" . "Let us pray with the Martyrs of Uganda to help us overcome this pandemic" they concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 5/6/2021)