General News of Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, has expressed concern at the increasing influence of European cultural practices on family life in Ghana.
He observed that Ghanaian families are either shirking their responsibility or some powerful minority of individuals and cultures are trying to usurp the authority God gave to the family unit.
Bishop Gyamfi was speaking at the opening session of the 36th Plenary Assembly of the National Laity Council of the Catholic Church in Sunyani.
The three-day session discussed the theme: “The Need for the Transmission of the Faith-The Role of Marriage and the Family Apostolate,” which brought together about 180 delegates and observers from the 20 dioceses of the Church in Ghana.
Bishop Gyamfi pointed out that the new culture, which celebrates sexual experimentation by young people, the multiplicity of partners and cohabitation outside marriage are contrary to God's commandments.
According to Bishop Gyamfi, sexual education programmes in public and private schools implicitly encourage promiscuous living and promote the culture of free choice, which he said adversely influences the human and moral education of teenagers.
Bishop Gyamfi warned the delegates that the world is offering the family very attractive, but destructive options, which he likened to the temptation in the Garden of Eden.
He said the new culture is telling people to shift from marriage to free love, from parental authority to children's rights, and from self-giving to ownership of one's body and control over one's destiny'.
Bishop Gyamfi described these trends as direct and indirect attacks on the family, and urged Catholics to restore the family and honour it as God intended it.
At the end of the Plenary, the participants urged Christian parents to ensure the holistic upbringing of their children to protect them against the new influences and pressures from Europe and elsewhere.
They condemned same sex marriage and the recognition of same sex families, which they described as a threat to Christian marriage and family life.