Retired Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese, Dr Eustance Kamanyire, is dead.
The 79-year-old prelate who became popular for his strong views against homosexuality died this morning at Case Clinic in Kampala, where he has been bedridden for over a month. Kamanyire’s nephew, Maxwell Chrysolite Kamanyire, posted a message on Facebook saying the bishop passed away today at 5:45am.
Peter Kamanyire, the bishop’s son, says his father suffered a stroke on October 4th at his home in Fort Portal and was rushed to Nsambya Hospital but doctors there recommended his transfer to Case Clinic.
Kamanyire says his father spent two weeks in the intensive care unit at Case Unit and was taken out of the unit when his condition improved. According to Kamanyire, the deceased’s condition worsened when he developed breathing difficulties on Wednesday night and was taken back to the intensive care unit.
Dr Kamanyire served as Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese from 1981 to 2000. He was replaced by Bishop Benezeri Kisembo who also retired in 2009. Kamanyire was last seen in public in September during King Oyo’s 18th Coronation anniversary.
In 2000, Kamanyire was banned from preaching in England over his strong opposition to the ordination of gay priests and sanctifying of gay marriages.
In June 2000, Dr Kamanyire received a letter banning him from preaching in a church in England over his opposition to the ordination of gay priests and sanctifying of gay marriage.
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. Bishop Selby in a statement said Dr Kamanyire went to the Diocese on June 25, 2000 to take part in a high profile confirmation service and to support the vicar of the Diocese Rev Charles Raven on his stand against homosexuality.
Since his retirement in 2000, Kamanyire has been doing charity work with a number of organizations in Fort Portal. One of the charities he founded is Sunrise House, a home for middle school-aged children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic.
In August this year, he participated in a three-day retreat for Retired bishops of the church of Uganda at Rest Gardens in Bweyogerere. It was their first retreat since retirement.
The three-day event from August 13 to 15 was a platform for them to share experiences, gain skills on managing retirement and chart a way forward in form of recommendations. They discussed, among other recommendations, the centralization in the provincial office of pension and send-off packages for retired bishops, creating a directory of the church leaders for coordination purposes and frequent retreats for the retired bishops.
Dr Kamanyire took the lead role as the prelates resolved to form a fellowship of retired bishops whose work is to lead to the formation of the church of Uganda retired bishops forum.