General News of Sunday, 2 May 2004
Fomena (Ash), May 2, GNA - The Right Reverend Benjamin K. Asare, Bishop of the Obuasi Diocese of the Methodist Church has bemoaned the stealing of Church money, which he said had become widespread in some Churches.
He said: "Corruption is rampant in church societies. Some of us tamper with the church's money and naked stealing goes on in the house of the Lord".
Rt. Rev. Asare who was addressing the seventh annual synod of the Diocese at Fomena in the Adansi West district of Ashanti on Thursday, therefore, warned that his administration would not spare any minister or official of the Church who would steal the Church's money.
He said: "We need money to do serious business for the Lord, but the unfortunate situation is that some of us tamper with the church's money".
Rt. Rev. Asare said the Church was rich but lamented that many of the Church members manipulated the system to their advantage to give the impression that the Church was poor.
He said: "I do not want to be emotional, but corrupt ministers, stewards, caretakers, leaders and members who indulge in this malpractice are not going to be spared".
Bishop Asare pointed out, that Christians have no moral responsibility to criticise the government for corruption in the society when the practice is common in the house of the Lord.
He announced that very soon, a strategic plan aimed at ensuring the rapid development of the diocese would be launched.
Rt. Rev. Asare also hinted that the Church would establish a girls secondary school and a vocational training institute in the diocese and encouraged the circuits to complement government's efforts of developing education by renovating Methodist schools, which have not seen any paint for ages.
Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, said partnership between the Church and state had been positive under the present government.
He encouraged Christians to get involved in politics both at the local district and national levels adding that that politics was not dirty as was being portrayed by some commentators and urged Christians who according to him are the light of the world to participate in politics to change the practice for the better.
Nana Ofori Agyemang, the Adansihene, appealed to the Methodist Church to site one of its University campuses at Fomena in honour of the late Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman.