KAMPALA- Following calls by Dr Cyprian Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese to compel the Central Government to embark on the compulsory deduction of the 10% tithe from their monthly salaries from Catholic faithful, some Legislators have welcomed the move with some arguing the Pope’s orders are not debatable.
While addressing congregants over the weekend at Lubaga Cathedral, Lwanga expressed concerns over the failure by many Catholics, who have been found of ‘cheating’ God by abdicating their religious role to pay the tithe, saying this has slowed the pace at which the Church carries out its work.
Lwanga was quoted saying that some Catholics lie to God that they pay church tithe off their monthly salaries and at the time of mass, Catholics just pick whatever they get from their pockets and give in yet the tithe the Bible stipulates is 10% of their monthly salary.
The Archbishop took his argument further by citing an example in Germany where the government takes the responsibility of collecting the church’s monthly tithe from salaries and hands it to respective Catholic Church leaders.
Lwanga’s proposal caused a heated debate in public with many calling out the man of God for being greedy, but that wasn’t the case with some MPs who applauded the Archbishop saying the Catholic Church needs the funds for development.
Busia Municipality MP, Geoffrey Macho says it’s necessary to pay the tithe to the church because it does a lot work for the church.
He said: “The tithe is very important in church that is why we come together and head to Namugongo, that is why you see every day our churches, mosques being constructed because of the people of God.”
Ardent Catholic, Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu said that it is within the Catholic doctrine to abide by all orders dished out by the Holy See, Pope.
He confirmed that indeed, some Catholics have been dodging paying tithe saying, “In some of those churches in the village, for those offertory baskets to even raise Shs20,000 is hard. What the Pope says something, no one responds to it, so if they say they are going to deduct from the salary, I can’t respond to that.”
However, Lwanga isn’t the first man of God to find himself in the eye of the storm over tithe remarks.
In February 2018, Pastor Robert Kayanja of the Rubaga Miracle Center Cathedral asked President Yoweri Museveni to consider allocating 10% of government’s annual budget to the Church as a tithe offering to God saying this would be critical at putting an end to the country’s perennial dependence on other countries and world bodies for development.
The controversial Pastor went further asking to have the 10% national budget be placed in the hands of President Museveni to hand it to the Church, “because he is a believer and most trusted in the country to carry out the biblical duties.
“There is a blessing that comes to people when they tithe. Israel has survived on that. You (Museveni) have given much, such as cars to bishops, you have financed many church projects and…you have opened up more churches than any other president. But now there is much more, when resources are given to any leader for the purposes of God. Our 10% as a nation if given to God, the remaining 90% will do much more,” Kayanja said at the time.
The 2018/2019 national budget is worth Shs32,567.4Trn and if Government was to take up the advice of Kayanja, that would require it to set aside about Shs3.2Bn and with Works and Transport sector having walked away with Shs4.7Trn, their budget accounted for 16% of the budget.
This would mean that the church would earn more money from Government compared to critically funded sectors like; Education Shs2,776.53Trn, Health Shs1.714,26, SecurityShs1,353,10Trn and Energy Shs2,575,83Trn.