Catholic Archbishop Urges “open dialogue” to Foster Reconciliation, Fraternity in Uganda

Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala in Uganda. Credit: Ugandan Catholics Online

The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala in Uganda is advocating for “open dialogue” among citizens of the East African nation in view of addressing the challenges in the country and foster “reconciliation and fraternity”.

In his Christmas 2022 Message published Tuesday, December 13 message, Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere highlights the effect of COVID-19 and Ebola, corruption, domestic violence, loss of family values in society, increasing poverty, and land grabbing as some of the challenges the people of God in Uganda are facing.

“It is for these reasons, dear brothers and sisters, that I humbly call upon you to remember that in the cold of the night, the baby Jesus stretches up His tiny arms towards us, calling us to strengthen open dialogue for reconciliation and fraternity,” Archbishop Ssemogerere says in the video recording that the Uganda Catholic Television published on YouTube.

He adds, “Let us be a source of light and support for all those who believe and strive to promote dialogue.”

The Ugandan Archbishop says that open dialogue will make the people of God in Uganda to thrive and the beauty of the country will be restored.


Referencing the Gospel of St. John, he goes on to address the concept of dialogue as it exists in the Holy Trinity, adding that the fact that the word became flesh in the incarnation denotes communion of love and life.

“The word became flesh to dialogue with us. God does not desire to carry on a monologue, but a dialogue,” Archbishop Ssemogerere says, and explains in his Christmas 2022 Message, “For God Himself, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit is a dialogue in eternal and infinite communion of love and life.”

In the just over 10min YouTube message, the 65-year-old Ugandan Archbishop reflects on the relationship that exists between Christmas and the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality and calls upon Ugandans to foster peace and “a just walking together”.

“As we celebrate Christmas for this year, 2022, I call upon all peace-loving Ugandans, all the leaders in this country, be it political, religious, cultural, and local leaders to work for peace and promote a just walking together”, he says. 

The Archbishop who has been at the helm of the Ugandan Archdiocese since January 25 also appeals for collaboration with those facilitating help for the needy in society, saying, “Wherever possible, let us support all those who provide humanitarian aid to the needy especially refugees, the children, the sick, and the aged.”

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In celebrating the joy and peace of Christmas, the Local Ordinary of Kampala Archdiocese says that it is the best moment to comfort victims of violence, especially violence against women that increased during COVID-19.

“I know that through our pastoral structures, we can volunteer to offer hope to young children and address suffering from bullying and abuse,” he says in his Christmas 2022 Message.

Archbishop Ssemogerere also underlines the need for true joy in families during the Christmas season, saying, “The degree of true joy and sharing in our families will tell the quality of our celebration of Christmas.”

Christmas time is a celebration of the Christian faith requiring that followers of Christ prepare for it with humility and simplicity, the Ugandan Catholic Church leader says. 

He makes reference to Pope Francis’ Christmas 2020Message, and says that Christmas is a family celebration whose “beauty shines through the sharing of small gestures and concrete love.”


Archbishop Ssemogerere says that the approach of the Christmas Season helps humanity to understand the “effect on the drama of history in which people injured by sin are brilliantly in search of happiness and feelings of sense of life and death.”

He goes on to say that the Christmas Season “urges us to meditate on the merciful kindness of God who came to man to communicate with him directly the truth that saves.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.