Religion of Friday, 3 August 2012
The National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) has climaxed their 50th anniversary celebration with a call on Ghanaians to espouse the values of late President John Evans Atta Mills.
It said the former President lived a fulfilled life and died in service to Mother Ghana hence the values he exhibited such as patience, selflessness, honesty, gentleness and humility were worth celebrating.
The climax of the 50th anniversary celebration was on the theme ‘NCS @ 50’: The Church in Ghana in service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace; on Thursday in Accra.
Mr. James Victor Gbeho, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, said in his address that the anchor of grief that greeted Ghanaians after the demise of President Mills had gingered Ghanaians to yearn more for the Better Ghana Agenda.
He said the country should look towards God and display the values of peace, tolerance and honesty that the late President left behind and that he stood in for the late President who was invited for the function.
Mr. Gbeho appealed to the Catholic Church and other religious bodies to cooperate in seeking peace and to remember to pray for Ghana; he congratulated NCS for its solid moral guidance, education and evangelism.
The Most Reverend Joseph Osei – Bonsu, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said peace was not necessarily the absence of war but peace was needed in our homes, families and between spouses, parents and children.
Touching on the theme, Rev Osei-Bonsu said peace could only prevail in the country if rival political parties put an end to the culture of insults that had become prevalent especially in the political arena.
He said in the interest of promoting peace, the Church had to promote ethnic harmony and denounce ethnocentric tendencies, utterances and actions.
He said it was necessary that Ghanaians strive to make peace a reality and not a mere dream.
Most Rev Osei – Bonsu said there was the need to champion the cause of justice which was necessary not only in the judicial system but in dealing with fellow human beings and not trample upon their rights.
He pointed out that forgiveness was an important tool in reconciliation and it was necessary for rival political parties, parents and children to be reconciled even among priests and bishops.
The Bishop appealed to Ghanaians to make peace their number one priority and constantly remind themselves in ensuring that there was peace during the elections and guard themselves against post-election violence.
He urged the church to be enlightened as an effective instrument for the promotion of reconciliation, justice and peace in its evangelism mission.
Rev. Father Nicholas Afriyie, Secretary General of the NCS said the Secretariat had only three departments in 1970 - Education, Socio-Economic Development and Health - but has 15 when the Secretariat was restructured in 2010 for efficiency and effectiveness.
Rev. Fr. Afriyie commended the founding fathers of the NCS who worked tirelessly; governments of Ghana and agencies and institutions both in and outside the country for their support over the years.
Most Rev. Charles Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, said it was significant that Ghanaians be educated to respect the Presidency and other institutions and not bring the Presidency into disrepute.
There were goodwill messages from the Christian Council of Ghana, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Office of the Chief Imam as well as the Ahmadiyah Muslim Mission.**