Legio Maria split again as Popes end two-month handshake


Legio Maria split again as Popes end two-month handshake
File photo Legio Maria Pope Romanus Ongombe. PHOTO | CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • Pope Ongombe, speaking on Sunday at the church headquarters at Gotkweru in Suna, Migori County, stated that the much-hyped handshake has not brought the peace he as well as his followers had anticipated.
  • He also stated that he is not ready to take up the church elder position and leave the seat of the pope to Adika as is allegedly being pushed by some senior Legio Maria church leaders.

Legio Maria Popes Romanus Ongombe and Raphael Adika have yet again gone their separate ways two months after entering a truce that was set to bring an end to leadership wrangles in the sect.

Pope Ongombe, speaking on Sunday at the church headquarters at Gotkweru in Suna, Migori County, stated that the much-hyped handshake has not brought the peace he as well as his followers had anticipated.

He also stated that he is not ready to take up the church elder position and leave the seat of the pope to Adika as is allegedly being pushed by some senior Legio Maria church leaders.

Pope Ongombe further stated that the two factions should continue running their activities independently as previously ordered by court.

The announcement has since elicited mixed reactions from some of his close confidants who claim the pope was under duress from a section of the church leaders.

Legio Maria East Africa Chairman Joseph Warambo – who oversaw the handshake between the two rivals at St. Michael Mapera Legio Maria Church – however said they do not recognize the announcement made by Pope Ongombe.

His sentiments were echoed by the religious sect’s Attorney General Michael Onditi who said such a decision cannot be reached without his approval.

Read More: Legio Maria Popes finally end decade-long feud

Pope Ongombe and his longtime nemesis Pope Adika on May 19 ended their 10-year heightened tension that nearly led to the collapse of the religious sect.

Pope Ongombe, addressing the church members then, said he extended an olive branch to Pope Adika so that they can come together and start a new journey.

“I called my brother after realising that the church was going the wrong direction. We have to remain united in this service because our differences don’t mean good for the church,” he stated.

“Such minor differences have led to serious divisions in the past and we would not want to take that direction. God does not accept divisions so we’ve got to remain united.”

Pope Adika echoed his counterpart’s sentiments, further urging the church members to also come together for the unity of the sect.

“My brother has said it all, All I can call for is a strong church that can beat the test of time and offer leadership for posterity,” he said.

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Story By George Juma
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