By Samuel Opio
Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has fronted a controversial proposal that seeks to have the central government deduct 10 per cent of faithfuls’ monthly salary and forward it to the church. A section of Legislators have welcomed the move with some arguing the Pope’s orders are not debatable.
While addressing congregants over the weekend at Lubaga Cathedral, the Catholic Archbishop said many Christians don’t pay tithe and this affects Church projects.
“Whenever we ask for tithe, everyone gives only what they have at that time. But the Bible says a tenth of whatever you earn belongs to the church,” he said.
“Give me your support as I front this proposal because it is good for us. Aren’t you tired of putting money in the baskets all the time?” he added.
The Archbishop took his argument further by citing an example in Germany where the government takes the responsibility of collecting the church’s monthly tithe from salaries and hands it to respective Catholic Church leaders.
Lwanga’s proposal caused a heated debate in public with many calling out the man of God for being greedy, but that wasn’t the case with some MPs who applauded the Archbishop saying the Catholic Church needs the funds for development.
Busia Municipality MP, Geoffrey Macho says it’s necessary to pay the tithe to the church because it does a lot of work for the church.
“The tithe is very important in church that is why we come together and head to Namugongo, that is why you see every day our churches, mosques are being constructed.,” he said.
Ardent Catholic, Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu said that it is within the Catholic doctrine to abide by all orders dished out by the Holy See, Pope.
He confirmed that indeed, some Catholics have been dodging paying tithe.
“In some of those churches in the village, for those offertory baskets to even raise Shs20,000 is hard. When the Pope says something, no one responds to it, so if they say they are going to deduct from the salary, I can’t respond to that,” he said.
However, Lwanga isn’t the first man of God to find himself in the eye of the storm over tithe remarks.
In February 2018, Pastor Robert Kayanja of the Rubaga Miracle Center Cathedral asked President Yoweri Museveni to consider allocating 10% of government’s annual budget to the Church as a tithe offering to God saying this would be critical at putting an end to the country’s perennial dependence on other countries and world bodies for development.