Catholic Bishops in Uganda Awaiting “entire Bill” on Homosexuality to Give Church Position

Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere of Kampala Archdiocese in Uganda. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Bishops in Uganda are waiting for the details of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) that members of Parliament (MPs) recently passed to be able to give the position of the Church in the East African nation, the Local Ordinary of Uganda’s Kampala Archdiocese has said.

On March 21, the Parliament in Uganda passed a new bill that seeks to crackdown on activities of homosexuality. In the bill, persons who identify as homosexual risk life imprisonment, and in certain cases, death penalty. 

While engaging in homosexual acts is illegal in Uganda, the new bill that is awaiting President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s signature to become law introduces additional criminal offences; BBC News has described the new bill as “one of the toughest pieces of anti-gay legislation in Africa.”

Speaking during the March 29 event that Kampala Archdiocese organized to celebrate Pope Francis’ decade of service at the helm of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere said that members of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) are to convene and “discuss that bill”.

“Regarding what has come out of Parliament, once we have the entire Bill, as Fathers of the Catholic Church we will come together to discuss that Bill and give the position of the Catholic Church in Uganda,” Archbishop Ssemogerere said.


Hinting to what is likely to be the position of the Catholic Bishops in Uganda, the Local Ordinary of Kampala said that evil and sin are not to be condoned.

“We shouldn’t condone what the church takes as evil; so homosexual tendencies and acts according to the teachings of the Catholic Church are sinful and Jesus came to fight sin,” the Ugandan Catholic Archbishop said.

He added, "If the Pope condemned immorality, that is the right thing; if the Church condemns what is against the Bible, that is the right thing.”

The Catholic Church leader underscored the need to focus the fight on the sin, rather than the sinner, saying, “If we are fighting immorality that’s fine, but you should know that Jesus came to fight sin but not to fight a sinner.”

Reflecting on the penalties as prescribed in the Bill, the 65-year-old Catholic Archbishop who has been at the helm of the Ugandan Archdiocese since January 2022 expressed his condemnation for the practice of luring minors and vulnerable adults into homosexual acts. 

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The Bill that attracted the support of 389 Ugandan MPs prescribed death penalty for “enticing” children, the disabled, mentally ill persons, and those of advanced age into homosexuality.

“I think when you are homosexual and you are enticing this young person into the act using all the money you have and you make him sick, the poor person goes to the hospital because of what you have done, that is a crime; it is child abuse,” Archbishop Ssemogerere said.

Some  international organizations are mounting pressure on President Museveni to reject the Bill, saying it will affect the East African nation's economy negatively. 

Jon Miller, chairperson of the Open for Business, a global business coalition for companies dedicated to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) inclusion said AHB "will make it harder for Uganda to foster a dynamic and diversified modern economy that is attractive to investors, tourists, and skilled workers."

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.