By Damian Avevor, Ghana The Catholic Bishop of Jasikan in the Oti Region of Ghana, Most Rev. Gabriel Akwasi Ababio Mante, has expressed deep worry
By Damian Avevor, Ghana
The Catholic Bishop of Jasikan in the Oti Region of Ghana, Most Rev. Gabriel Akwasi Ababio Mante, has expressed deep worry of how the widespread of charismatic and Pentecostal movements is affecting Catholics in Ghana and their commitment to the promotion of the Kingdom of God.
“We hope Catholics who have who have abandoned their faith and left the Church to join these movements are following to dictates of their conscience,” the Bishop intimated.
According to him “for Catholics who remain Catholics and yet keep running after Jesus from one to another crusade, or fellowship or prayer camp, I am afraid, their faith can only be described as a mirage,” he said at the launching of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Keta-Akatsi Diocese whitish was founded in 1995.
Speaking on June 10 (Feast of Mary Mother of the Church) on the theme: Promoting the Kingdom of God Through Word and Sacrament, the Bishop also expressed worry that some of the youth in Ghana are easily enticed by their non-Catholic friends to leave the Catholic faith and Church. What this means, the Bishop stated is that such people leave their faith behind in their hometowns when they leave home.
Bishop Mante stated that “We hope Catholics who have abandoned their faith and left the Church to join these movements are following the dictates of their conscience.”
He also cited a related disturbing phenomenon of the desire among some Catholics to practice the faith the way non-Catholics do them, because they are nice., noting that “this is also the chasing of a mirage and those who do not do so are crippling their own faith and all I want to say to them is rise up and walk with the Diocese in the promotion of the Kingdom of God.”
The Bishop stressed that “interestingly, occasionally when some return home they desire to be acknowledged and recognised as Catholics, especially when they are in difficulty, and Catholic Parish Priests are sometimes the only source of a needed assistance. However, if it is their corpses that are returned home, some families plead are given catholic burial.”
Bishop Mante enumerated another widespread reality that poses a serious challenge to the promotion of the Kingdom of God in Ghana and the Keta-Akatsi Diocese which is unemployment and its concomitant threats to society.
He said the upsurge of unemployment in the country has given rise to migration, especially among the youth and in recent times its external or foreign manifestations in relation to countries with advanced economies has brought dangerous and fatal consequences.
Another major challenge to the promotion of the Kingdom of God and the Catholic faith according to Bishop Mante is the practice of traditional religions and the attendant effects on some Catholics leading to multiple allegiance which he emphasised has become endemic in the Keta-Akatsi Diocese which had in some cases affected relationships in extended families.
He cautioned Catholics to desist from practicing their faith and at the same time indulge in multiple allegiance, which seriously impeded the promotion of the Kingdom of God.
In a goodwill message, Most Rev. Emmanuel Fianu, SVD, Bishop of Ho called on the faithful to the evangelisation mission of the Church manifest in their daily lives.
Agbotadua Bonie, on behalf of Togbi Sri III, the Awoemafia of the Anlo Traditional Area in the Volt Region, thanked the Catholic Church for her immeasurable support to humanity through the establishment of Schools, hospitals and provision of social amenities.
Most Rev. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji, SVD, the Bishop of Keta-Akatsi Diocese who performed the launching called on Parishes to embark on spiritual and social activities to mark the one-year celebration which would be climaxed next year November during the Diocesan hosting of the Plenary of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
He urged the Priests, Religious and the lay faithful within and without the Diocese to fully participate in the spiritual activities by raising awareness towards the love of the Word of God and the celebration of the Eucharist. The Bishop appealed to the faithful to fervently pray for God’s supplication as well as the renewal of the missionary zeal by extending their spirituality to other people.
Bishop Kumordji noted the social activities of the celebration would include awareness on the need to practice and maintain environmental cleanliness; visit to the sick and health related programmes like blood donation exercises.
He stated that the anniversary would also focus on a Diocesan pilgrimage to the Sacred Heart Shrine at Dzodze-Tornu in the Volta Region. Another important spiritual activity, he noted would be the Episcopal Silver Jubilee of Most Rev. Anthony Adanuty as the first Bishop of the Diocese and the celebration of his 80th in May next year.
As part of the Anniversary climax, the Diocese would host the 2020 Plenary Assembly of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Kumordji added. He appealed that the celebration should involve all Catholics in the Diocese in all Outstations and Parish communities, Church Societies and Pious Associations, Apostolates and Ministries.
Present at the launching were Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, Archbishop of Accra; Anthony Adanuty, Emeritus Bishop of Keta-Akatsi; and Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, Bishop of Ho as well as scores of Priests, Religious and lay faithful of the Diocese in the Cities and diaspora and Traditional Leaders.
The creation of Keta-Akatsi Diocese was formally announced by the then Papal Nuncio to Ghana, His Excellency Most Rev. Andre Dupuy at a Press Conference in Accra on Friday March 17, 1995 under the chairmanship of the Most Rev. Francis Anani Kofi Lodonu, Bishop of Keta-Ho Diocese and President of the Ghana Bishops’ Conference.
The announcement also carried the news of the creation of four other new Dioceses: the Diocese of Jasikan (Co-created with Keta-Akatsi on 19th December, 1994), Damongo (3rd February 1995), Konongo-Manpong and Obuasi (co-created on 3rd March 1995). Rev. Msgr. Anthony Kwame Adanuty, Desk Officer at the Holy See’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome was appointed the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Keta-Akatsi.
Together with the Dioceses of Ho, Jasikan and Koforidua and Donkorkrom Vicariate, the Keta-Akatsi Diocese is a Suffragan See of the Ecclesiastical Province of Accra, with the Archdiocese of Accra as the Metropolitan See.
A Mass preceding the launching was presided over by Bishop Adanuty who gave thanks to God for how far He has brought the diocese. He urged the faithful to continue to have faith in the Lord and pray for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church on the diocese.