Bishop Obetia Challenges Arua Christians to Promote Peace

2560 Views Arua, Uganda

In short
The Bishop of the Anglican diocese of Madi has weighed in on the current wrangles in Arua Catholic Diocese, asking Christians to promote peace.

The Bishop of the Anglican diocese of Madi has weighed in on the current wrangles in Arua Catholic Diocese, asking Christians to promote peace.

Rt Rev. Joel Obetia has appealed to the Christians of Arua to acknowledge the fact that not all leaders bear the same qualities.

Bishop Obetia says leaders carry different attributes that cannot be comparable, though some of them keep on complimenting each other on the achievements made.

The prelate was reacting to the violent acts that engulfed Arua diocesan seat at Ediofe Cathedral when a section of Christians attacked Bishop Sabino Ocan Odoki. There is still heavy police deployment at the cathedral since Thursday last week when the disagreements turned violent.
Bishop Obetia attended a security meeting between Bishop Odoki, the clergy of the Catholic Church and a group of concerned Christians at Arua Hill Division council Hall over the weekend.

He challenged Christians in Arua to show respect to Bishop Odoki, noting that with or without the current bishop the Catholic Church will still remain the same.
Bishop Obetia asked the warring parties to reflect on their actions and forgive each other where they erred to foster  peace in the diocese.
He said: "There is no peace without saying sorry; words have power, if you say 'let there be peace then there will be peace and the truth will set you free." 

However, the group of concerned Christians and the clergy in their submission read by Cale Santos denounced the act of the irate mobs who vandalised the church property saying it's through peaceful means that their differences can be addressed.They also commended the security personnel for their quick action to restore order, adding that they executed their duty in a professional manner where no cases of death and bloodshed were registered.

In their recommendation they appealed to the government to relocate the Bishop to another place as the situation is still tense so that calm returns to the diocesan seat.

The minister of state for internal affairs Mario Obiga Kania who was chairing the meeting exempted the government from handling the church affairs stressing that their intervention was solely to restore order. "The government doesn't decide who should be the Bishop of Arua Diocese or where Bishop Odoki should be transferred; that is the responsibility of the Catholic Church," Kania said.

He noted that when peace is disrupted, it does not affect the Catholics alone but the rest of the faiths including non-believers.

The Regional Internal Security Officer, Major Gabriel Atiku, decried the element of tribalism which he said is part of the problem. He rubbished the claims made by members of the public about government giving support to the embattled Bishop. 

Key Among the resolutions reached at during the meeting are the immediate need for Catholic Church to prevail on both parties and find a lasting solution.