SOROTI. Anglican archbishop Stanley Ntagali has appointed retired Bukedi bishop Nicodemus Engalas Okile to oversee Soroti Diocese, pending election and consecration of a new bishop.
The expiry of Bishop George William Erwau’s term in April sparked off a leadership crisis in the diocese after a section of the synod rejected the nominated candidates.
The Rev John Robert Olupot and Rev Robert Angiro had been nominated to replace Bishop Erwau.
But the House of Bishops suspended the process after it emerged that the nominated names were not forwarded to the archbishop.
This created a leadership vacuum, necessitating Archbishop Ntagali to appoint a caretaker on Thursday at a function in Soroti District.
“The caretaker will pursue the pastoral and administrative aspects of the diocese. He will supervise all the parishes of the diocese, will confirm candidates, and above all, he shall for the transition period follow the position, constitution and guidelines of the church,” he said.
Archbishop Ntagali called for calm and promised to keenly supervise Soroti Diocese developmental activities that were previously overseen by Bishop Erwau.
The archbishop also condemned “the men of God” who turn to witchcraft in order to get positions, or whenever calamity strikes.
Archbishop Ntagali praised Bishop Erwau for his “great work” during his nine-year tenure. He also promised to follow up on the presidential pledges that were made during his tenure.
Retired Bishop Okile, 70, in his acceptance speech said: “ [As a caretaker bishop], I will stand as a horse that Christians will ride on and I will listen to everybody like a rubbish pit that picks all the rubbish but will sort out good things from the rubbish .”
He undertook to follow the roadmap that will be given to him by the archbishop to ensure that Church development projects go on well.
Mr Okile, who bowed as Christians burst into joy, preached unity and appreciated Archbishop Ntagali for valuing people like him in service even after retirement.
“Together we shall walk Christ’s walk, he said, adding: “I pray that nobody will lift the voice of saying let’s pay evil for evil but rather pay evil for a common good , because paying evil for evil is not a just cause and common good is love.”
Bishop Erwau, who has had ups and downs as head of Soroti Diocese for his style of leadership, said he retired a happy man of God.
He handed over to Archbishop Ntagali his tools of authority, including his abdication documents.