Muhabura Diocese to Elect a New Bishop; Sebuhinja to be Consecrated for Another Ministry

Muhabura Diocese to Elect a New Bishop; Sebuhinja to be Consecrated for Another Ministry

7th September 2006

On 30th August 2006, during the recently ended Provincial Assembly, the House of Bishops reached a compromise solution on a way forward for Muhabura Diocese.

In 2001 the House of Bishops elected Rev. Canon David Sebuhinja to be the Bishop-elect of Muhabura Diocese.  The Head of Laity and other leaders in the Diocese, however, refused to accept his appointment.  This led to a five-year standoff between different groups in Muhabura Diocese and the House of Bishops.

From17th – 20th August 2006, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi led a delegation of thirteen bishops from all over the Province for a weekend pastoral visit to Muhabura.  The bishops went to listen to the concerns of various parties and together to seek the mind of Christ for a solution to the stalemate.

The first night in Kisoro, the Archbishop said that God woke him up in the middle of the night with the question, “Where is the pastoral staff?”  In the morning, he phoned retired Archbishop Nkoyoyo, who responded that retired Bishop Shalita had never surrendered the staff.  Five years after retirement, it was still in his possession.

The Archbishop then phoned retired Bishop Shalita, who admitted that he had retired, but had not yet given up the diocese, and still had possession of the pastoral staff.

On Saturday, 19th August, retired Bishop Shalita met with the House of Bishops and delivered the pastoral staff to the Archbishop.  It was a spiritual breakthrough.

During the recently concluded Provincial Assembly, the House of Bishops drew up a proposed compromise that Rev. Canon David Sebuhinja has accepted.

Rev. Canon Sebuhinja will be consecrated a Bishop of the Church of Uganda on Sunday, 10th December, in North Mbale, during the consecration and enthronement of their newly elected Bishop, Rev. Daniel Gimadu.  Sebuhinja will be given another ministry in the church outside Muhabura Diocese.  He will not be the Bishop of Muhabura, and he will not be enthroned, but he will be a bishop.

Muhabura Diocese will, accordingly, continue their healing and reconciliation process, and prepare to elect another bishop for their diocese.

The Archbishop said, “We want to thank everyone in the Church who has faithfully prayed that a solution would be found for the impasse that has held Muhabura Diocese captive for the past five years.  I believe a breakthrough has now come.  The House of Bishops has always been confident of God’s call on Rev. Canon Sebuhinja, and the Church of Uganda will be blessed to have him as a member of the House of Bishops.  It was clear, however, that he would not be accepted in Muhabura.  We believe the Holy Spirit has led us to a solution that honours all the parties involved in this dispute.  But, most of all, a solution that honours our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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