Archbishop John Baptist Odama has suspended Reverend Father Charles Onen for bleaching Church rules by joining active politics without following the proper procedures.
In a letter dated October 5, 2020, addressed to all priests in the Archdiocese, Odama says that he has tried his best to convince Onen to step down from politics and focus on God’s ministry but unfortunately this has not yielded any fruit.
“As the Shepherd of the people of God in the Gulu Archdiocese, I have painful duty to communicate to you that on September 23, 2020, I had to issue a decree of suspension for our brother Rev Fr Charles Onen,” the letter reads in part.
With the suspension, Fr Charles is no longer allowed to exercise his priestly Ministry and is forbidden from engaging in any act of power or governance related to the diocese.
Odama says that for the past three months, he has been receiving requests from Onen to release him from active priestly work on which he advised him accordingly for the right procedures.
“On 21 August and 7th September 2020, I issued the first and second warning letters respectively which were handed to Fr Charles requiring him to desist from his active involvement in politics without permission of the local ordinary (C 287 & 2),” Odama said.
The Archbishop says that after expiry of the specified period without any response from the Rev Fr, he was not left with any other option but to follow the church rules and regulations by imposing a suspension on him from exercising sacramental Ministry as the last resort.
“I now ask all the faithful of our parish, whom I will duly inform with discretion and prudence, to pray for our brother Fr Charles Onen so that the Lord may help him to reflect on his situation, repent and reform his life according to demands of our common priestly vocation,” the Archbishop stated.
Rev Fr Onen has already expressed interest to contest for the Gulu East Parliamentary seat as an independent in the forthcoming 2021 general elections.