- Legio Maria is an indigenous African church popular in some parts of Nyanza and Western regions.
- Pope Romanus Ong’ombe and Pope Raphael Adika both claim to be the bona fide leaders of the church.
- Cardinal Johanes Opanya Mirao said he was angry that he was not aware of the planned reconciliation meeting.
Fresh divisions have again rocked the Legio Maria church after a section of followers rejected a purported “handshake” between leaders of two warring factions who have not been seeing eye to eye for over a decade.
Legio Maria, an indigenous African church popular in some parts of Nyanza and Western regions has had two leaders, both claiming to be the bona fide popes of the church – Pope Romanus Ong’ombe and Pope Raphael Adika.
Any meeting of followers of the two rival leaders has always resulted in a bloody confrontation, and not even a court ruling has ever brought peace between them.
Pope Ong’ombe and his followers have their headquarters in Got Kwer in Migori County while Pope Adika is based in Kisumu.
The wrangling came to an end last Tuesday when the two rivals met at St Michael’s Mapera Church in Migori and decided to bury the hatchet after Pope Ong’ombe extended an olive branch to Pope Adika.
They told the congregation present that their prolonged differences were hampering the progression of the church.
But the followers are vexed with the newly-found unity, claiming they do not know the details of the agreement, and that they have been left confused.
The church’s Cardinal Johanes Opanya Mirao welcomed the “ceasefire” terming it a good move to unite the followers.
But he was angry that he was not aware of the planned reconciliation meeting.
“I am asking both factions to worship like they have always done in their respective churches until we have a clear understanding of their newly-found unity,” said Cardinal Opanya.