- Daily Nation
Pope Romanus Alphonses Ong'ombe head of a splinter group of the Legio Maria Group Church of Africa passed away following a long illness.
Pope Ong'ombe passed away on the evening of Sunday, April 12 while undergoing treatment at Joseph Mission Hospital Ombo in Migori County.
Ong'ombe headed one side of a group of the Legio Maria following leadership wrangles with Raphael Adika over the papacy beginning in 2009.Pope Romanus Ong'ombe and Pope Raphael Adika meet for the first time in ten years at St Michael Kwayo Mapera Legio Maria Church on May 19, 2019.The Standard
The protracted fight between the two leaders was momentarily quelled in May 2019, but began anew when supporters of the two sides declined the truce.
Pope Ongomb'e was handed the papacy following tumultuous elections.
It was after this that Adika and Ong'ombe called on members of the church to abandon the tensions that had nearly crippled the religious group.
“I called my brother after realising that the church was heading in the wrong direction. We have to remain united in this service because our differences do not mean good for the church,” stated Ong'ombe explaining his push for the unification of the church.
Pope Adika echoed Ong'ombe's sentiments calling for an end to the fight between the two groups.
“My brother has said it all. All I can call for is a strong church that can stand the test of time and offer leadership for posterity,” he expressed.
However, in January 2019, when Pope Adika arrived at the Legio Maria headquarters in Migori after travelling from Kisumu to meet Ong'ombe, he was denied access.
Ong'ombe's death came before leadership wrangles in the church could be resolved.
Legio Maria, which is an indigenous African church had two leaders, Pope Ong'ombe and Pope Adika both claiming to be the bona fide pope of the church.
Members of the church have asked the government to grant them enough time to give a befitting send off to the spiritual leader.Pope Raphael Adika, one of the leaders of the Legio Maria church.Daily Nationdeath fight
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