By Spy Uganda
Lubaga, Kampala: Final arrangements for the sending off of Kampala archdiocesan Archbishop Dr.Cyprian Kizito Lwanga are in progress, and will be laid to rest tomorrow (Thursday) in the historical Rubaga cathedral church- according to interim Lubaga administrator, Charles Kasibante.
Lwanga died on Saturday morning, aged 68, and a postmortem report released on Monday revealed that he succumbed to a heart attack induced by a blood clot.
Dr. Lwanga will be the third prelate to be buried inside Rubaga Cathedral. The first prelate to be buried in there was Bishop Edouard Michaud, a Canadian Clergyman who was one of the priest missionaries known as White Fathers, commonly known as ‘Abamisani’. He was the vicar Apostolic of Uganda from 1933 until he died in 1945.
According to George William Katende, a guide and receptionist working at Rubaga Cathedral, Bishops who die either while in active service or during retirement are buried inside cathedrals.
Inside the same church are the remains of Dr Joseph Kiwanuka, the first native African to be ordained a Catholic Bishop in modern times who died in 1966 five years after his appointment as Archbishop of Rubaga.
The two were laid to rest on the right wing of the church just behind the area reserved for the choir. Msgr Kasibante says Archbishop Lwanga will on Thursday be laid in the middle of the two of his ‘fore grandfathers’.
Msgr Gerald Kalumba, one of the senior priests in the archdiocese and former vicar general, notes that it has been a tradition of the church to bury (Arch)bishops in the cathedrals they served.
“It is the tradition and in many times bishops who served in that particular cathedral are worthy of being buried in there,” says Msgr Kalumba.
He, however, adds that this might vary depending on other circumstances. “In some cases, if the (Arch)bishop left a Will indicating a place where he wishes to be buried, his Will is honored,” he added citing the example of Emmanuel Cardinal Nsubuga who ‘humbled’ himself by making a Will to be buried at the Bakateyamba Home which he founded.
According to information obtained from different catholic church sites, in many cathedrals, there are areas called crypts already set aside to bury the prelate. This concept of building crypts is said to have been drawn from the persecution of Christians and the believers who were buried in these caves when they died. The faithful have preserved this tradition to date.
Meanwhile, TheSpy Uganda has learnt that due to COVID-19, a total of 500 mourners have been invited to attend the burial ceremony for the deceased-according to Rev.Fr.Nicholas Mulumba, the head of communication for Kampala Archdiocese.
“We know every person has the right to mourn the dead and no one can take away that right in whatever circumstance, but we want to put a note that there are some people who were selected carefully by both the catholic church authority and the civil authority to represent all of us now that we are in this period of the Covid pandemic.”