Wednesday, August 25, 2010

UGANDA: CAPA Bishops Conference: From My Ear to Yours

UGANDA: CAPA Bishops Conference: From My Ear to Yours

By David W. Virtue in Entebbe
August 24, 2010

I traveled with a CMS (Nigerian) bishop from Amsterdam to Entebbe. He wondered out loud to me how it is that a bishop like Charles Bennison could possibly be reinstated after all that the diocese has suffered at his hands both spiritually, financially and for covering his brother's sexual exploits.

So I asked him what would happen in Nigeria if a bishop like Bennison erupted in one of their dioceses. Simple, he said. If and when the laity rose up and said they wanted their bishop gone, he would be gone. He would be made to step down and that would be the end of it. The laity are the people of God and if they are unhappy, the diocese is unhappy, the churches are unhappy and people leave. The archbishop would find that intolerable and the bishop in question would be made to go. No drawn out lawsuits, no reference to canons, no meeting out of tens of thousands of dollars to a man in temporary exile. He would have to go. The bishop said it had happened twice in his province, the bishop was told to leave and as a result the diocese suffered very little. "I think your diocese will now go into serious decline. People will not stay with a leader like that."

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