Pope Francis Appoints Like-minded Bishop Ssemogerere to Take Over Departed Archbishop Lwanga’s Duties

Pope Francis has appointed the bishop of Kasana Luwero Paul Ssemogerere as the Apstolic Administrator of Kampala Archdiocese.The appointment was announced by the Apostolic Nuncio (Pope’s representative) to Uganda during the burial ceremony of Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga inside Lubaga Cathedral  this afternoon.
The Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference who is also Bishop of Kiyinda Mityana Diocese who was the main celebrant, explained to the the public that Bishop Ssemogerere remains the bishop of Kasana Luwero Diocese and will therefore be wearing two hats – heading both Kasana Luwero diocese and also Kampala Archdiocese.
Ssemogerere has been bishop of Kasana Luwero since 2008. Before that, he was parish priest of Christ the King Church in central Kampala, where he was a relentless critic of human rights abuses and undemocratic acts by political leaders. Opposition to injustice and undemocratic practice is one of the things Ssemogerere shared with Dr Lwanga. He very much a man after Lwanga’s own heart.

Dr Lwanga was the first/founder bishop of Kasana Luwero diocese and Ssemogerere his successor. He now succeeds him again, temporarily, at Kampala archdiocese.
All Catholic bishops are appointed by the pope.. Every year, when a Catholic bishop has his audience with the Pope he submits a sealed envelop containing his three suggested successors in order of preference.

Lwanga obviously suggested Ssemogerere to succeed him in Luwero and apparently, he is also one of his three suggestions for successor in Kampala. But the Pope is not bound to appoint any of the bishop’s suggested successors. The suggestions actually cause investigations over the candidates which might instead disqualify some or all.

Bishop Ssemogerere was born in 1956 at Nkumba, in Kisubi Parish near Entebbe. He is a close relative to Dr Paulo Ssemogerere, long term president general of the Democratic Party, who was presidential candidate in the  disputed 1980 general elections which many believe he won, and ended in a five year civil war in the Luwero Triangle.

Although Mityana’s Bishop Anthony Ziwa is regarded by many as a top favourite in terms of competence to take over as Archbishop of Kampala, and Paul Ssemogerere is the man in charge for now, only Pope Francis knows the real successor for Dr Lwanga. And Ugandans wont have to wait long. The announcement should certainly come before Christmas.

Dr.Lwanga’s burial was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of Ugandans across the country on national television . Government was represented by Vice President Edward Ssekandi and other cabinet ministers included Gen. Katumba Wamala Works and Transport Minister and Information Minister, Judith Nalule Nabakooba.

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