KABALE – The Catholic Church has excommunicated eight heads of the Marian Worker’s Movement; a prayer group in Kabale diocese.
These include Vincent Byabamazima and Ben Arineitwe from Kitanga Parish, Luke Mayanja from Kamwezi Parish in Rukiga district, Rosette Kiconco, Aaroni Buzaare, Felix Barigye and Francis Byaruhanga from Christ the King parish Kabale and Credonia Tindikyeitira from Rushoroza parish in Kabale Municipality.
In a leaked July 3rd 2019 letter, Rt. Rev. Calist Rubaramira, the Bishop of Kabale Catholic Diocese accuses the group of violating the norms of the Catholic Church.
According to Rt. Rev. Rubaramira, the group defied the resolution of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, which banned the Marian Worker’s Movement in the county in June 2000 for contravening the teachings of the Church.
Rt. Rev. Rubaramira says the group ignored his warnings to stop their conduct in 2013.
He says since the practices of the Movement go against the norms of the Catholic Church, the group leaders will not receive any sacrament in the diocese effect immediately.
According to the letter the excommunicated group will leaders will not receive a Christian burial until they produce proof of their repentance in writing.
Rev. Fr. Lucian Twinamatsiko, the Chancellor Kabale Diocese told media that the only Lay Apostolate Associations and Movements recognized in the diocese are the Legion of Mary, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, St Jude Thaddeus Association, Eucharistic Crusaders, Xaverian Movement, Holy Family, Praying for the Souls in Purgatory, Catholic Women’s Association, Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, Catholic Students Association, Young Christian Students, Uganda Martyrs Guild, Holy Childhood, Kolping Society, Focolare Movement, Catholic Scouts and Catholic Men Association.
According to Twinomugisha, the group has been conducting secret prayers in the members’ homes every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday without the knowledge of the diocese as well as shunning the devotions of the Catholic Church calling them demonic and fake, while claiming that theirs is the only authentic and true church movement.
Twinomugisha says that they couldn’t wait for the group to cause another tragedy like what happened on March 7th, 2000 where about 1000 people under the Movement of Restoration of Ten Commandments cult led by Joseph Kibwetere and Credonia Mwerinde, both staunch Catholics were burnt to death in Kanungu District.
Rev. Fr. Mathias Kwehangana, a teacher at St. Adrian Seminary Rubanda in Rubanda district, noted the excommunication of the group is long overdue because the Catholic Church forbids secret prayers. Kwehangana hails Bishop Rubaramira for intervening in time to save the image of the church by excommunicating those who wanted to tarnish it by promoting prohibited values.
Vincent Byabamazima, one of those excommunicated told our reporter on phone that they will sit and brainstorm on the Bishop’s decision before issuing a statement. In July 2016, the Marian Workers Movement was also banned in Soroti Diocese for similar reasons.
The Marian Workers Movement, which allegedly started in Rome, Italy in the 20th century as apparitions, has attracted thousands of followers across the world including in the countries like Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia.