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“All is definitely not well with what I call ‘administrative celibacy’, in the Catholic Church. It is a celibacy which is more forced than consented to, and its effects are anything but good,” Musaala wrote in a dossier carried by sections of the Ugandan media.
In a press statement seen by Chimpreports on Wednesday, Archbishop Of Kampala, Cyprian K. Lwanga said Musaala’s outburst had caused “immense suffering” and seem “to be casting a dark shadow of suspicion” over all priests.
“This means that Father Anthony Musaala is suspended from celebrating sacraments and sacramentals, from the powers of governance in accordance to the law of the Church Can.1335 and1336§1n.1, 2and3 as investigations are being carried on,” said Lwanga.
Musaala had alleged that “as people become more enlightened (as in Europe) there will be a crisis of faith, perhaps a sudden collapse, with many leaving the church, either to join other churches (whose pastors may be no better, but who appear to be less hypocritical about it), or to become agnostics, especially the middle classes.”
He added: “One must remember that there are other challenges facing the church, such as general weakening of faith, loss of sacramental life, low incomes, dull liturgies, and the challenges of the media. Many of the youth (not the children) are already alienated from Catholicism and are easy prey to proselytizing groups.”
He further accused some priests, whom he did not identify, of preying on minors.
Lwanga said the Church takes seriously the allegations in the article.
“On behalf of the my fellow Catholic Bishops in Uganda I wish to assure the public that as leaders of the Catholic Church in Uganda; we are committed to the protection of the minors and rights of everyone. Investigations about these allegations are to begin immediately with of course cases that are proved,” said Lwanga.
“It should however, be clear to everyone that the value of the choice of priestly celibacy according to the Catholic tradition still stands, and the need for solid human and Christian formation is underlined, both for seminarians and for those already ordained.”
Fr Musaala has for the last decade been criticized for associating with people who undermine the traditional marriages in Africa.
Below is Lwanga’s statement in full:
Dear people of God,
“I deeply think of the immense suffering caused by the article produced in the media authored by Fr. Anthony Musaala, that seem to be casting a dark shadow of suspicion” over all priests.
Above all, the Church takes seriously the allegations in this article.
On behalf of the my fellow Catholic Bishops in Uganda I wish to assure the public that as leaders of the Catholic Church in Uganda; we are committed to the protection of the minors and rights of everyone. Investigations about these allegations are to begin immediately with of course cases that are proved.
It should however, be clear to everyone that the value of the choice of priestly celibacy according to the Catholic tradition still stands, and the need for solid human and Christian formation is underlined, both for seminarians and for those already ordained.
The Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law states the stand of the Catholic Church on celibacy in Canon 277, which mandates clerical celibacy that: “Clerics are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven and therefore are obliged to observe celibacy, which is a special gift of God, by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and can more freely dedicate themselves to the services of God and mankind.”
This Church law is embraced willingly as prescribed by Can.1037 which states that: “A candidate for the permanent diaconate who is not married, and likewise a candidate for the priesthood, is not to be admitted to the order of diaconate unless he has, in the prescribed rite, publically before God and the Church undertaken the obligation of celibacy, or unless he has taken perpetual vows in a religious institute”. This means therefore that no one is forced to embrace this discipline before or at ordination.
Everyone should once again remember that until Christ came along (Mt 19:12), and then Paul (1 Cor. 7:32-35), the only state of life known was marriage but when Christ came, He made it clear that some people would remain celibate (“eunuchs”) for the sake of the Kingdom of God (Mt 19:12).
St. Paul further recommended it for those who would be dedicated to serving God in this world (1 Cor. 7:7, 17, 32-35), for the salvation of souls and it is totally a freedom of choice as the above biblical quotations suggest.
If one fails to comply with this discipline, he does it on his own and not on behalf of the Church. Consequently personal failure in this regard is not an offence sanctioned by the Church. However we as Bishops deeply regret such failures and seek forgiveness from those who have been victims.
I indeed applaud all the many religious men and women who have remained faithful to this promise and there is nothing we can offer but our prayers for them.
It is very unfortunate that the author of the published document stands to call for suspension of this discipline through his proposed forum that has no Church legitimacy and yet the Church’s legislation and practice is clear on this point. None-the-less we are going to investigate on the allegations in the article with people concerned together with certainty of the author of this document.
As per now, after the acceptance of Fr. Musaala that he authored this document, the law prescribed by the Church in can. 1369 takes its course.
This law states that: “A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.”
This means therefore that Fr. Musaala because of the publication of his article in the public media which damages good morals of Catholic believers and further expresses a wrong teaching against the Catholic Church’s teaching and that this stirs up hatred and contempt against the Church, he incurs a Ferendae sententiae penalty as prescribed by Can.1314.
This means that Father Anthony Musaala is suspended from celebrating sacraments and sacramentals, from the powers of governance in accordance to the law of the Church Can.1335 and1336§1n.1, 2and3 as investigations are being carried on.
Once more I feel sorry of the inconveniences caused by this article and let us entrust the whole matter to our Lord the most chaste.
Yours Sincerely in Christ,
+Cyprian K. Lwanga
ARCHBISHOP OF KAMPALA