The Archbishop of Kampala Diocese, Paul Ssemogerere has called on Christians to work hard and break free from poverty if they ever want to even ‘smell’ the afterlife.
The archbishop was addressing mass at the priestly golden jubilee and episcopal silver jubilee celebrations for the retired ambassador of Vatican (Apostolic Nuncio) Archbishop Augustine Kasujja.
The celebrations which attracted thousands of faithfuls were held on Sunday in Mitala Maria, Mpigi District.
Ssemogerere urged Christians to use their God-given talents and the gift of life to uplift themselves from poverty, reminding them that God has no place in heaven for the poor.
“God will not entertain the poor in heaven. You will not go there. I will also stand at the entrance to stop you from going there. We have misunderstood the gospel. Being poor should not be misinterpreted to be without money,” Ssemogerere said.
The archbishop added, “God will say I created you with eyes, the brain, and gave you life, and you died poor? You will perish in hell. We should work hard. Let’s not sleep and be idle.”
Emeritus Archbishop Kasujja, who hails from Mitala Maria, Mpigi district is the first-ever black African Apostolic Nuncio. He retired in 2021 after clocking the mandatory 75 years. He had served in the Vatican diplomatic service for about 33 years.
In his speech, the Papal Nuncio Archbishop, Luigi Bianco acknowledged Kasujja’s diligence and generous spirit in the exercise of office during his time as Vatican representative.
“We congratulate you for your long and energetic, diligent service and the generous spirit in the exercise of your office as our representative,” Bianco said.
Prior to his retirement, Kasujja, had served in the diplomatic service of the Holy Sea under Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. On October 12, 2016, the current Pope Francis appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, adding the position of Nuncio to Luxembourg on December 7. He was the first non-European to occupy the Belgian posting.
His other postings included Argentina, Haiti, Bangladesh, Portugal, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Tunisia, and Mauritius, Nigeria among others.