Religion of Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Source: GNA

Clergy advised to use pulpit to address social issues

Wa, May 30, GNA - Rev Fr. Martin Ninang, Chancellor of the Wa Catholic Diocese, has appealed to priests to focus their sermons on social issues that are having negative impact on the growth of society. He mentioned some of the negative social evils as armed robbery, murder, drunkenness, sexual immorality, rape, sodomy, homosexuality and single sex marriage that were now on the ascendancy on the continent. Rev Fr. Ninang, who made this appeal during the annual congress of the Wa Diocesan Catholic Priest Association (WADPA) at Wa, said it was the responsibility of the priest to draw up educational programmes on some of those issues that would facilitate their evangelization programmes in the communities.

The four-day congress of the Association had "50 years of Independence: The role of the Wa Catholic Diocesan Priest in Nation Building; challenges and prospects" as its theme.

"You cannot be a good priest and a good evangelizer for that matter if you cannot advise them to eschew some of the practices that impede the development of the people that you live and work with in the communities".

Members of WADPA meet every year to appraise their performance and to map up plans for the coming years.

The Chancellor said it was also the responsibility of priests to educate people especially against the practice of occultism in schools as that was also a rising challenge that could mar the forward march of future leaders in the country.

"It is not surprising to find occult materials in the boxes of students throughout the country which is becoming a worrying issue". Mr. Ambrose Dery, the Upper West Regional Minister, said although the Catholic Church had done a lot in terms of development projects, there was the need for more collaboration to eradicate poverty, disease and apathy of people towards development and to eliminate negative practices to hinder the smooth progress of the country.

He particularly called for support towards the creation of more jobs for the youth, the elimination of negative cultural practices such as widowhood rites and female genital mutilation as such practices were impeding the moral and social growth of society.

The Minister appealed to the Ministers of God to weed out the bad nuts amongst them by exposing the "False Prophets" whose activities negate the real intention for which their vocation was created. Dr. Edward Gyader, A retired medical practitioner, said Ghana had for some years now been enviable to neighbouring countries because of the relative peace and appealed to priests to focus their sermons on unity and commitment to the national issues.

"The early missionaries started with the provision of health facilities, agriculture and formal education which you all need to consolidate for the future generations to benefit from."