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Religion of Friday, 5 September 2014

Source: GNA

Speculation on priest's suicide must stop – Archbishop

The Most Rev Philip Naameh, the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of the Tamale, has described the death of Rev Father Kelvin Abakisis as an unfortunate phenomenon in the Catholic Church and urged all Christians of the Catholic faith to consider the suicide as normal as any other person.

He said autopsy results showed that the priest committed suicide and urged people to desist from speculations.

The Bishop said it was possible that Rev. Fr. Abakisis, who was found hanging in his living room on August 23, might have suffered from a mental problem which culminated into the incident and speculations relating to his death must be disregarded since priest were normal human beings who were confronted with many challenges.

Most Rev Naameh, who was delivering his homily at the OLA Catholic Church in Tamale on Tuesday, said suicide violateD the 5th Commandment of the Church and contradicted the love of family and society.

He said the Church in the past forbade burial of victims of suicide on sacred grounds.

The Bishop said psychological, mental and health conditions could cause an individual to commit suicide and stressed the need for all Christians to constantly check their health conditions to ensure that they were physically, psychologically and mentally fit to carry out their daily duties.

He described the suicide as surprising because that was the first case in the Catholic Church in Ghana, saying that “God can still pardon him of his sins and grant him mercies…nobody can judge the outcome of the circumstances”.

“While we may experience the fact of suicide as a very painful death, we must discard it in the light of the current teachings of the Church that suicide is a bad death….patience with one another is essential and staying connected without assigning blame to oneself or to others is vital in supporting one another through the grieving:, he said.

Rev Fr Abakisi, 31, a tutor at the Saint Victors Major Seminary at Malshegu in the Tamale Metropolis, who committed suicide on August 23, would be buried on Thursday at Navrongo.

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