The Catholic Church has warned its followers in various dioceses within the Kampala province on the presence of individuals falsely representing themselves as Bishops and a priest from West Africa. Over the weekend, photos emerged of some people dressed as Roman Catholic Bishops in Byeyogerere, in Kampala.
According to one parishioner in Byeyogerere, these individuals claimed to be bishops visiting Uganda and attempted to conduct a Mass in the area. “They claimed to be bishops on a visit to Uganda. Am told they might have tried to hold a mass in the area,” the faithful said.
When our reporter made inquiries from authorities at the Kampala Archdiocesan headquarters suited at Lubaga, it was revealed that the identity of this group, suspected to be from West Africa, remains unknown. Rev. Fr. Joseph Mukiibi, the Communications Director of the Kampala archdiocese, confirmed that they have received a similar report but have no knowledge of any foreign bishop in the country. He also mentioned that the archdiocese has initiated an inquiry into the matter.
Furthermore, Rev. Fr. Mukiibi emphasized that within the Catholic Church, visiting Bishops are required to notify the local ordinary or parish priests in advance before conducting Mass. He urged the faithful not to attend Mass celebrated by individuals who are unfamiliar with the area’s parish priests.
priest and is said to be active in the Lugazi and Masaka dioceses. Msgr. Richard Kayondo, the Vicar General of the Lugazi diocese, explained that this individual, originally from Masaka, was once a seminarian undergoing training to become a priest of the Lugazi diocese.
He added that Luyinda had completed studies at St. Thomas Aquinas National Major Seminary-Katigondo and was soon finishing his theological studies at St. Paul’s National Major Seminary – Kinyamasika. However, despite being on the path to becoming a priest, he was removed from the formation process. Msgr. Kayondo expressed his surprise at the individual’s presence in the diocese, falsely claiming to have been ordained.
The vicar general adds that there have been reports and allegations that after being discontinued from his seminary studies, the individual in question traveled to Cameroon, where he allegedly received ordination. However, Lugazi Diocese has conducted inquiries with authorities in Cameroon and has been informed that Luyinda was not ordained within the Roman Catholic Church there.
“The president of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon Archbishop Andrew Nkeya…he said, from the photo we sent him, that the bishop who performed the ordination is not a catholic bishop. The said ordination was not valid,” a letter from Bishop Christopher Kakooza on the matter reads in part.
Msgr. Kayondo explains that typically when a seminarian at advanced stages is dismissed, the course of action may vary depending on the reason for their dismissal. If requested by the individual, the diocese can offer assistance in finding alternative paths. Some may opt to join religious congregations, and in certain circumstances, they might eventually be ordained as priests.
He added, “Mr. Luyinda did not follow this standard route; instead, he associated with fraudulent individuals and later returned, claiming to be a priest.” Meanwhile, Rev. Fr. Ronald Mayanja, the communication officer for Masaka, also mentioned that they have received information suggesting that Luyinda has relatives or connections within Masaka.
Nevertheless, he emphasized that, in accordance with the guidelines, it is nearly impossible for an imposter or a foreign priest, whether from Uganda or elsewhere, to come and conduct Mass in Masaka’s parish without prior authorization from the relevant authorities.