It was a somber mood at St Johnâ€™s Cathedral in Fort Portal as the retired Bishop Rwenzori Diocese, Dr Eustace Kamanyire, was laid to rest on Thursday. Retired Bishop Kamanyire passed on last week at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala, more than a month after suffering a stroke early October.
Mourners pay their last respects to Bishop Kamanyire
The retired Bishop Rwenzori Diocese, Dr Eustace Kamanyire, was laid to rest on Thursday bringing to a close a chapter of a man who shaped the development of the diocese.
Retired Bishop Kamanyire passed on last week at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala, more than a month after suffering a stroke early October.
Kamanyire’s burial at the St John's Cathedral’s cemetery was preceded by a funeral service that was presided over by the Right Reverend Jackson Thembo Nzerebende, the Bishop of South Rwenzori diocese, who represented the Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali.
As early as 7:00am, hundreds of Christians started thronging the cathedral to attend the funeral service that kicked off at 10am. The compound of the cathedral was filled with mourners. More than ten tents were erected in the compound to accommodate the large number of mourners who included religious leaders, local leaders and Tooro Kingdom officials among others.
Prior to the funeral service, people paid their last respects to Kamanyire who served as Bishop for 19 years. They bowed before the casket that was inside the church. St John’s Cathedral choir sang songs of sorrow as friends, relatives and the clergy laid wreaths on the casket bearing Kamanyire’s remains.
In his sermon, Bishop Nzerebende hailed Kamanyire for promoting and protecting the family institution by condemning acts of homosexuality. Bishop Nzerebende urged the clergy to emulate Kamanyire and openly condemn the act.
In 2000, Kamanyire was banned from preaching in England over his strong opposition to the ordination of gay priests and sanctifying of gay marriages. The letter written by Right Reverend Peter Selby, the then Bishop of Worchester, banned Kamanyire from preaching or even stepping in the Diocese of Worcester.
After the funeral service, Kamanyire’s casket was carried to the church cemetery, where he was buried next to his late wife Irene.
Right Reverend Reuben Kisembo, the Bishop Rwenzori diocese then read to mourners a section of Kamanyire’s will. In his will, the deceased named his son, Peter Kamanyire as the heir. The young Kamanyire, who is a farmer and businessman, was then blessed by Bishop Nzerebende.