|Uganda||MISSIONARY TELLS OF AUSTRALIAN LINK TO SUICIDE CULT|
The millenarian Kanungu Movement, responsible for last Friday's mass suicide in Uganda, had links with a group in Australia, an Italian missionary has told the Rome-based MISNA missionary news agency.
Fr Paolo Tomaino, who did not identify the Australian movement, said: "One of them told me that the group had contacts with an extremist movement in Australia. There were even rumours that one of the group leaders had spent a few weeks in Australia to attend spiritual courses."
He said that Joseph Kibwetere, founder of the 'Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God', was a former Catholic teacher and catechist whose passion for his work had led to his nomination as head of the Parish Council of the Kagamba mission, in the Mbarara diocese.
He told Fr Tomaino that he had had a divine vision and that he understood that his mission would be to restore the Ten Commandments. Initially, he formed a group of disciples, consisting of three priests and a group of girls.
"They were very fanatic, given that they believed to have had revelations of personal salvation, which God asked them to reveal to the world. The most astonishing message was that of the nearing end of the world," Fr Tomaino said.
He told of the group's infiltration of a number of parishes, where they recruited followers, who sold their belongings, gave the proceeds to the movement, and moved with their families to live on its properties. Although local authorities were concerned about the cult, it managed to obtain official recognition by the state as an NGO or religious order.