Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala on Tuesday evening cleansed the parliamentary catholic chapel a month after security forces were deployed inside the house of prayer.
Dr. Lwanga was the main celebrant at the mass at the Catholic Chapel which was attended by several Members of Parliament including Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza and State Minister for Youth and Children Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi.
The Catholic and Anglican Chaplaincies are located in the basement of Parliament building and can be accessed through a new entrance to the East wing adjacent to the National Theatre.
Singing heartily, the Archbishop helped by the Chaplain of the Catholic Chapel, Reverend Father Phillip Balikuddembe, sprinkled holy water within the chapel and corridors around it which were fully packed by MPs, Staff of Parliament, and journalists covering the consecration ceremony.
In his homily following readings taken by Kasese Municipality MP Robert Centenary and Minister Nakiwala Kiyingi, Archbishop Lwanga urged MPs to always carry out their deliberations using reason and wisdom rather than exchanging blows. He urged MPs to always exercise self-control even when they are provoked and focus on matters of development.
Basing his homily on a theme, ‘Reconciliation with God and Fellow Human Beings’, Dr. Lwanga forgave whoever abused the chapter and appealed to them not to ever do it again.
Dr. Lwanga in December last year declined to officiate at the end of year mass of the Catholic community and also light a Christmas tree citing the invasion of the Catholic chapel making the sacred place unholy, hence unworthy for use in worship.
The Archbishop then directed that the Catholic Chapel should not be used for worship until it is consecrated again – a process of spiritual cleansing.
His decline came just a day after it emerged that men and women in police uniform had secretly deployed in Parliament on Monday, hours before the House commenced the debate on the Constitutional Amendment Bill that sought to remove presidential age limits.
Dirty plates and cups as well as used mineral water bottles had been found in both the Catholic and Anglican chaplaincies with MPs, especially from the opposition side protesting what they called the desecration of the houses of prayer, forcing Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to adjourn the House briefly.
This was after the Amuru Woman MP Lucy Akello who also doubles as the lay leader of the parliamentary Catholic community, raised the matter on the floor of parliament.
Angry legislators confiscated cups and plates from the officers, saying that the presence of soldiers, and the serving of meals in the chapels, was disrespectful.
The Dozens of plates that were confiscated from the soldiers and officers, who were about to enjoy their meal, were tabled before parliament chaired by Speaker Kadaga. She later directed the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige to investigate the matter and report back to the House.
The controversial Bill that caused the invasion of the house of prayer was late December 2017 passed into law paving way for the amendment of Article 102(b) which caps the presidential age at between 35 and 75 years. In a twist, the House also agreed to reinstate presidential term limits which had been removed in a 2005 constitutional amendment. The term of office is also to be extended from five years to seven years.