General News of Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Catholic Bishops Frown On Adulterated X’mas

The changing phase of Christmas celebrations has attracted the criticism of the Catholic Bishops Conference.

It said, “In our secular world of today, Christmas seems to be for many people only an occasion for enjoying themselves and for family reunions.”

In its Christmas and New Year message, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, President, Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference and Bishop of Konongo-Mampong said, “The feast of Christmas these days has been so commercialized and secularized that many people have lost sight of its religious significance.

“Christmas marks the birth of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world. When humankind lost God’s favour because of sin, it took Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection to restore the broken relationship between man and God.”

He added, “The birth of Christ at Christmas marked the beginning of the process of restoration of the broken relationship. It marked the beginning of the process of humankind’s salvation.”

The Bishop said that “in the birth of Christ, God came to be with us not just in spirit but in the flesh. For this reason, Christ is said to be Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’. Christmas is about the incarnation, about God taking on human flesh, about God becoming a human being.”

“It is more than two thousand years since Christ left us physically for heaven, yet the peace that he spoke of remains an elusive phenomenon in our world today.

We live in a world beset by all kinds of problems, including wars, even in the Middle East, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace,” the Bishop bemoaned.

“In our own country right now, we are facing severe post-election challenges. Members of rival political parties have been attacked. Innocent people, including journalists and other media personnel, doing their work have also suffered attacks.

I call on our political leaders, especially those of the two major parties, the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party, to talk to their supporters to put an end to all violence. I appeal to all priests, ministers, pastors and all other religious leaders to let the message of peace be part of their preaching in the next few weeks.”

He added that the time had come for every Ghanaian to make peace a reality, adding, “We should always remember that we have only one country called Ghana and that this country is the only home that we have.”

“We do not want to share in the unpleasant experience of the people living in countries where there are conflicts,” it said, adding, “We do not want to be refugees in our neighbouring countries.”

The Bishops Conference appealed to everybody, especially politicians, to avoid actions and inflammatory utterances that had the potential to incite people to violence and war.