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Archbishop Philip Naameh of Ghana Archbishop Philip Naameh of Ghana 

Ghana’s Catholic Bishops decry a growing culture of disrespect in the country.

In their Christmas and New Year’s message, Ghana’s Catholic Bishops appeal to politicians and citizens to prioritise mutual respect, dialogue and tolerance.

Paul Samasumo – Vatican City.

Ghana’s Catholic Bishops have called upon the country’s Catholic faithful and citizens to use the Christmas period as a time for reflection. In a Christmas Pastoral Letter made available to Vatican News, the Bishops hope the introspection would lead to a more united nation. The Pastoral Letter signed by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale and Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference President, Archbishop Philip Naameh, regretted that insults and a culture of disrespect were gaining traction in the country.

Bishops alarmed by insults in the political arena

“The joy of the Christmas Season is here with us again. As we continue to prepare our minds and our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and look forward to the New Year, 2022, we, the Catholic Bishops of Ghana, send you, our dear Ghanaian brothers and sisters and all people of goodwill, our fraternal greetings of peace and blessings. We take this opportunity to address to you all this Pastoral Letter, which is under the theme, Peace with God, Peace Among Humanity, Peace with All Creation,” said Archbishop Naameh.

Archbishop Naameh continued, “We your shepherds are alarmed by the unfortunate growing culture of disrespect and insults in Ghana, especially in our nation’s political arena, and so wish to call on all our politicians and indeed, all citizens, to endeavour to put an end to this rising phenomenon,” said the President of the Bishops’ Conference.

Ghana’s Parliament: A divided people’s house

Ghana’s Bishops also address themselves to happenings in the country’s Parliament.

Early this month, Ghana’s hung parliament voted to reject the 2022 budget. It was the culmination of wrangling in the divided people’s house. It was also the first time that this was happening since the country returned to multi-party politics in 1992. The Bishops have urge the country’s minority and majority lawmakers in the Ghanaian Parliament to walk the path of dialogue in resolving instances of impasse.

“We are equally distressed by some of the recent happenings in our House of Parliament, in particular, events which have occurred in the aftermath of the presentation of the Government Budget and Financial Statement for next year, 2022, events which run contrary to the peace that Christ brings to all humanity and to our nation. We are, however, pleased to note that conscious efforts are being made by the leadership of the august House to find an amicable and lasting solution to the impasse that has been occasioned by entrenched positions on our nation’s Budget for next year,” said Archbishop Naameh.

Ghana’s Christian ministers and false end-of-year prophecies

Ghana’s Bishops also denounce the annual occurrence of self-styled Christian ministers and prophecies meant to predict the future in the new year.   

“The peace which Christ brings to us and which all of us desire cannot be experienced if false prophecies and prophetic utterances continue to be entertained in our country as the new norm. In recent years, especially during the season of Christmas leading into the new year, there have been too many false prophecies made. Some have created fear, panic and tensions in our society. As another Christmas approaches ushering us into the new year, we wish to encourage all Christian ministers to desist from giving false prophecies and from other such practices which only tend to discredit the Christian Church and the Gospel of Christ,” reads the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter.

The Bishops instead encourage Ghanaians to cherish the values of hard work, patient endurance, perseverance, moderation and contentment, and not allow themselves to be led astray by false prophecies and prophetic utterances. 

Christmas and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Given that Christmas comes with its liturgical celebrations and festivities, the Bishops encourage Ghanaians to exercise utmost caution and protect themselves and others during the festivities.

“Since the beginning of last year and throughout this year which is now ending, we have tried to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged us and our global world. No one can overlook the negative impact which the pandemic has wrecked on our religious, social and economic lives in Ghana as elsewhere in the world. Yet, as of today, we do not know when this pandemic is coming to an end. Therefore, we wish to remind all that existing regulations and protocols meant to contain and minimise the impact of the COVID-19 are still pertinent and ought to be followed religiously even if these tend to limit some of our rights and freedoms,” advised Archbishop Naameh.

(paul.samasumo@spci.va)

17 December 2021, 18:38