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The Holy Father Pope Francis, on 22nd March, 2024, while accepting the resignation of Most Rev. John Baptist Odama, declared sede vacante (vacant see in the Archdiocese of Gulu). At the same time the Holy Father appointed, Most Rev. Raphael Wokorach P’Mony, mccj, until then the Bishop of Nebbi Catholic Diocese as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Gulu. He also named Archbishop Emeritus of Gulu Most Rev. John Baptist Odama as the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Gulu until the new Archbishop takes canonical possession of the vacant see.

During the time of sede vacante:-

  1. The Apostolic Administrator has all the powers pertaining to ordinary administration in the same Circumscription till the new Archbishop takes
  2. The following offices cease; Vicar General, Episcopal Vicars and Vicars Forane (Deans).
  3. The following bodies and offices continue to function: Board of Consultors, Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Diocesan Treasurer and Finance Council, Judicial Vicar, Moderator of the Curia, Heads of Department (staff) and Offices of the Diocesan Curia.
  4. As a general principle, while the see is vacant, no innovation is to be made (canon 428 §1).
  5. In the Universal Prayer Intention at Mass, we pray, by names, for Archbishop Emeritus (Apostolic Administrator), [and for the Archbishop Elect].

Most Rev. John Baptist Odama, the first Metropolitan Archbishop of Gulu, retires after serving the Archdiocese of Gulu and the Gulu Ecclesiastical Province for 25 years having been appointed by Pope St. John Paul II on the 22nd March, 1999.

His Grace John Baptist Odama has spear headed a number of peace initiatives both within and without the country, these include the government of Uganda and Kony peace negotiations, Acholi Religious Peace initiatives among others.

Most Rev. Dr. John Baptist Odama received many awards both nationally and international. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of Philosophy by Gulu University in 2017 for his work in brokering peace and reconciliation in Northern Uganda.

His Grace John Baptist Odama served two consecutive terms as the chairperson of the Episcopal Conference of Uganda which is constituted by the catholic bishops of Uganda and is the highest decision-making organ of the Catholic Church in Uganda.

Thank you Most Rev. John Baptist Odama for your self-less service to humanity.

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