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Church suspends Fr. Musaala over sex claims

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th March 2013 11:13 AM

The Archbishop of Kampala has suspended Fr. Anthony Musaala over a document he allegedly wrote faulting some Church leaders.

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KAMPALA - The Archbishop of Kampala, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, has suspended Fr. Anthony Musaala over a document he allegedly wrote that “damages good morals of Catholic believers and faults the Catholic teaching”.

“Fr. Anthony Musaala is suspended from celebrating sacraments and sacramentals, from the powers of governance in accordance with the law of the Church…as investigations are being carried out,” Lwanga said in a statement issued on Tuesday. true

The suspension follows a letter, reportedly written by Musaala, claiming that many Catholic priests and even bishops are sexually abusing minors, have mistresses and children who they are concealing or have abandoned.

The letter called for review of the issue of celibate chastity in the Catholic Church.

Fr. Musaala (pictured right), a Charismatic priest, is famous for his music and preaching.

In his statement addressed to “People of God”, Lwanga stated: “I deeply think of the immense suffering caused by the article produced in the media authored by Fr. Anthony Musaala, that seemed to be casting a dark shadow of suspicion on all priests.”

“Above all, the Church takes seriously the allegations in this article.

“On behalf of 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.”

Quoting the Church’s Code of Canon Law on celibacy, Lwanga said that clerics are “obliged to observe celibacy, which is a special gift from God, by which sacred ministers can adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart and freely dedicate themselves to the service of God and mankind”.

According to Church law, Lwanga said no person can be admitted into priesthood, unless he has “publically, before God and the Church, undertaken the obligation of celibacy, or unless he has taken perpetual vows in a religious institute”.

Lwanga said this means no one is forced to embrace celibacy before or at ordination.

He quoted verses from the Bible on priestly celibacy.

He said: “Until Christ (Mt 19:12) and Paul (1 Cor. 7:32-35) came, the only state of life known was marriage. Jesus Christ made it clear that some people would remain celibate (eunuchs) for the sake of the Kingdom of God (Mt 19:12).”

He said St. Paul recommended celibacy “for those who would be dedicated to serving God in the world (1 Cor. 7:7, 17, 32-35)”.

“If one fails to comply with this discipline, he does it on his own and not on behalf of the Church. Personal failure in this regard is not an offence sanctioned by the Church,” Lwanga added.

“It is very unfortunate that the author of the document stands to call for the suspension of this discipline through his proposed forum that has no Church legitimacy,” he said.

“After the acceptance of Fr. Musaala that he authored this document, the law prescribed by the Church in Canon 1369 takes its course,” he said.

He explained that the law provides for a just penalty for a person who, “at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or 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.”

 

ARCHBISHOP LWANGA'S FULL STATEMENT

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

Church suspends Fr. Musaala over sex claims

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