Catholic Church Suspends Healing Preacher

Posted by on April 22nd, 2009

Mr. Barnabas Kazibwe Mutume: Purported Faith Healer
Image Credit: MICHAEL J. SSALI

You’d think the Catholic Church would be more supportive of its faith healing clergy members. A couple of days ago, Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa of Masaka, Uganda, suspended local Sacristan Mr. Barnabas Kazibwe Mutume from his priestly duties. Why? Because of his purported ability to heal the sick and downtrodden with prayer. News of Mutume’s miraculous healing powers has spread by word of mouth, causing those in need of medical attention to try out spiritual healing in desperation. And thousands of all denominations have flocked to his makeshift church to be healed.

What is his secret healing method you ask? He simply prays for them, reciting holy words familiar to the Catholic Faith. But he also encourages them to pray for themselves, giving other Catholics prayers to recite on their own and encouraging Muslims and Protestants to pray in their own way.

Protestants and Muslims and faith healers, oh my! Needless to say, all this interfaith hubbub did not sit well with the Catholic Church. According to the Sunday Monitor:

John Baptist Kaggwa…says [Mutume’s] healing powers are not in line with the Catholic doctrine and that he is increasingly finding it hard to guide him…On March 14, bishop Kaggwa put a ban on the pilgrimages by all Catholics, warning that whoever goes there to pray or to seek help would be suspended from sacramental life and in the event of their death no Catholic prayers would be said during their burial.

Harsh Kaggwa, real harsh. Even so, there are no shortage of healed people willing to vouch for Mutume’s gift from god, even if the Pontiff and his posse aren’t down with it. The Church put together a crack squad of priests to monitor the miracles of Mutume and in part, based their ban on lack of substantiating evidence that Mutume’s miracles heal anyone, making the Catholic authorities the unlikely skeptics.

-For anecdotes and reports of Mutume’s miracles, see the original Sunday Monitor Article.

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