Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Bishop rejects call to resign made by national church leaders

Kitgum Bishop Benjamin Ojwang has rejected the Ugandan Synod’s request that he step down

The Bishop of Kitgum in Northern Uganda has rejected the call of the Synod of the Church of Uganda that he resign. In a letter to the primate of Uganda dated 5 Dec 2014, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Ojwang said he was filing a civil lawsuit against the church to prevent it from removing him from office. Appointed in 2002, Bishop Ojwang has been on the front lines of the conflict in Northern Uganda with the Lord’s Resistance Army – a local guerilla group whose depredations have forced tens of thousands from their homes. The bishop has also clashed with members of his clergy and lay leaders in the diocese – leading the 22nd session of the Church of Uganda’s General Synod in August to pass a resolution asking he step down by 14 Dec 2014 to enable the diocese to elect a successor. The bishop’s lawyer told the Kampala newspaper New Vision “the registrar of the Industrial Court has already signed the court summon which gives the Church of Uganda 14 days to answer to claims that the Bishop of Kitgum is being pushed out illegally before his time. He retires in December 2017, but there are negative forces in the diocese that pushed for his retirement to be effected this month.” Bishop Ojwang is the first bishop in the history of the Church of Uganda to defy the synod over calls for his resignation. The province is understood to have stayed action in the affair until the matter is brought before the January 2015 meeting of the House of Bishops. 

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