GULU – Gulu Catholic Archbishop John Baptist Odama has suspended a priest for joining active politics.
According to Archbishop Odama, the Law of the Church does not allow Rev. Fr. Charles Onen, the curate of Holy Rosary Parish Catholic Church, to participate in politics.
Fr. Onen is contesting for the Gulu East Division MP seat in the 2021 general elections as an independent.
“As a shepherd of the people of Gulu Archdiocese, I have the painful duty of communicating to you that, on 23rd September 2020 I had to issue a decree of suspension ‘a divinis’ for our brother, Rev. Fr. Charles Onen,” a circular issued by Archbishop Odama reads in part.
Consequently, Fr. Charles is no longer allowed to exercise his priestly ministry. Specifically, he is forbidden to exercise all the acts of the power of order, all the acts of the power of governance and any right or function attached to any diocesan office,” the circular adds.
The archbishop added that two occasions, he issued the first and second canonical warning letters to Fr. Onen requiring him to desist from active involvement in politics and reform his life according to his priestly vocation but he did not take heed.
“Since the time prescribed by the Canon Law to answer the warnings and to have recourse against the decree of suspension has abundantly expired and no written answer or reaction from Fr. Charles has yet reached me, I had no alternative left other than to obey the Law of the Church, which asks pastors to try disciplinary measures like the suspension from exercising the sacramental ministry as a last resort and attempt to correct those who go astray in order to make them reflect, repent and reform their lives.” Odama said.