Friday 24 July 2015

Ghana's bishops launch pro-life conference in context of Family Synod

Ghana's bishops launch pro-life conference
The Bishop in Charge of Health of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 launched a Pro-Life Conference, which is aimed at leading Ghanaians to a deeper reflection of the Gospel of Life and appreciating of the sanctity of life, purity of marriage and the dignity of human sexuality.

The two-day Conference (in which I will have the honour to participate on behalf of SPUC) will be held at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra from Saturday, August 7 to Sunday, August 8, 2015  on the theme: Promoting Life and Family Values in the Continuing Culture of Death.

In October 2014, the Holy Father, Pope Francis convoked an Extraordinary Synod on the family in Rome to enable the Church to reflect on the vocation and mission of the family in the contemporary world and to fashion a response to the very challenges that the family of today faces.

Bishops at the Synod observed that over the years, but most importantly in recent times, there had been an increasing encroachment of the proponents of the culture of death in almost every part of the world including Africa.

From African bishops the Synod discovered that the spread of the culture of death was evident in the persistent attempts by some international organisations, wealthy nations and philanthropists to limit, suppress and even destroy the source of human life among Africans.

Launching the Conference at the National Catholic Secretariat, Bishop Afrifah-Agyekum said that recognizing that Ghana is at the heart of the storm and struggle between the culture of life and culture of death in Africa necessitated the organisation of the Conference.

“Realizing the urgent need for the Church in Ghana to rise up and promote the Gospel of life in speaking against the emerging culture of death in Ghana,” was also one of the reasons for the conference, he added.

He noted that the Conference was to strengthen the witness of the faithful and other Christians to promote the dignity of life from conception to natural death; promote long cherished values of family life such as unity, indissolubility, openness to life and incorporating government, leaders and people in the project of building an authentic culture of life in Ghana.

He said that “The Catholic Church acknowledges the important role she has to play in concert with other like-minded Christian groups and Civil Society Organisations in renewing a pro-life mission in the world and calling on contemporary society to a deeper reflection of the Gospel of life.”

He said “as the leadership of the Catholic Church in Ghana, we the Bishops recognize that a grave responsibility is imposed on us by our apostolic mandate to reiterate the Church’s true and beautiful teachings on the sanctity of life, the beauty of love, the purity of marriage and family life and the dignity of human sexuality.”

Bishop Afrifah-Agyekum, said the Conference was aimed at teaching and training the faithful to understand the Gospel of life and to stand and defend the pro-life position of the Church.

In an interview after the launching, the Bishop said the unconditional respect for the right to life of every innocent person from the moment of conception to natural death is one of the pillars upon which every civil society stands and therefore the State has the primary duty to defend life.

To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of family values and the common good, he added, stating that there can be no democracy without the recognition of every person’s dignity nor can there be a guarantee of true peace unless life is defended and promoted.

He lamented that the culture of death was emerging in Africa in a form of population control measures being proposed and propagated in African Nations by some multi-national organisations which had implanted themselves in Africa as a Family Planning Organisations.

He noted that in reality, these organisations were promoting unnatural and artificial means of birth control such as abortion, sterilization, vasectomies, the use of condoms over and above the natural family planning the Catholic Church upholds.

Activities lined-up for the two-day Conference include, a prayer campaign had been declared in all parishes, rectorates and stations from July 22, 2015, lectures by both local and international speakers on August 7, 2015; a pro-life/pro-family match from the from the Holy Spirit cathedral through some principal streets of Accra on August 8, 2015 and the issuing of a communiqué and the encouragement of the mass-media to take up the pro-life campaign throughout the country.

The press launch was attended by members of the Ghana Medical and Ethics Commission, Staff of the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS), and Diocesan Directors of Communications.

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