A WAR of words has erupted between the Namibian diocese of the Anglican Church and its break-away faction now known as the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of Namibia (REACH-NA), following a statement issued by Anglican Bishop Luke Pato, warning church members against attendance of the installation ceremony of REACH-NA’s Bishop-elect, Reverend Lukas Katenda.
In a statement issued earlier this week, Bishop Pato said that members of his church who were invited to attend Katenda’s installation ceremony at Ondangwa, can do so as private individuals, but are not allowed to wear or display clerical collar or Anglican vestments because such symbols may confuse some members.
“No one should play any part in the service or ceremony as such act may be misread by others,” he said.
Reverend Katenda reacted by calling Bishop Pato an agent of Satan.
“Luke Pato is a recruit of the devil because there is no bishop who makes decisions like that. He is stopping people to hear the Gospel and preventing people from getting salvation. He is hiding behind a paper but we can see him,” he said.
Katenda further noted that he does not hate Bishop Pato but dislikes his attitude and what he is currently doing.
“He lacks leadership, is ignorant, has no experience and is undiplomatic. The man is simply weak. He is being misled by some of his pastors,” said Katenda, adding: “Pato must sit down and read his Bible.”
REACH-NA broke away from the Anglican diocese of Namibia when an attempt to elect a new leader to replace late Bishop Nathaniel Nakwatumbah ended in a deadlock.
Reverend Katenda was one of the bishopric candidates.
South African cleric Luke Pato was eventually appointed as new bishop but irreconcilable differences led to a split.
Pato said that REACH-NA is not part of the Anglican Communion and is not recognized by the Anglican Communion and by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.