Religion of Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Catholic Church launches beatification of Cardinal Dery

Vice-President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur has launched the beatification process and foundation of the late Cardinal Peter Porekuu Dery.

Launching the event in Tamale last Saturday, the Vice-President described Cardinal Dery as a relentless and restless man who worked to improve the material needs of his neighbours.

The beatification process involves the gathering and verification of documentary proofs and hearing of witnesses with regard to the heroic virtues and intercessory powers of a Catholic who, in life, in death and after death, enjoyed a reputation of holiness by living all the Christian virtues in a heroic manner.

After the launch of the beatification process of a person, he/she is referred to as Servant of God until such a time that the process is complete for him/her to be declared a saint or otherwise.

The process was launched with support from the Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tamale, the Most Reverend Gregory Ebo Kpiebaya.

Vice-President Amissah-Arthur said Cardinal Dery, a former Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Tamale, who died on March 6, 2008 at the age of 89, spent his entire life in the service of humanity and called on people to emulate his example.

“Cardinal Dery mentored the youth in responsible living and also supported disadvantaged women against cultural practices that tended to dehumanise womanhood and this lifestyle exhibited by this humble servant of God helped to transform lives and draw many people to God,” he added.

The Vice-President also paid tribute to the now Servant of God for establishing farmer co-operatives and agricultural practices, which are still transforming the economic lives of people.

He pledged GH¢10,000 on behalf of the government to the Cardinal Dery Foundation, saying that the support was intended to help continue the good works of the Cardinal for human development.

The Vicar General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tamale, the Very Rev. Fr Mathew Yitiereh, said people reacted in many ways upon hearing of the death of Cardinal Dery.

He said former President Rawlings remarked that “the nation is back in bondage following the demise of Cardinal Dery”.

Former President Kufuor, according to him, described Cardinal Dery as a statesman, leader and pacesetter whose memory deserved national attention.

“Another comment worth noting concerning the death of the Cardinal was the one made by his Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVl. The Pope, in a telegram message to the Archbishop of Tamale at the time of the demise of Cardinal Dery, said, ‘This devoted pastor has left behind a shining legacy of prayer, humble obedience to the will of God and love of neighbour.”

Reading a tribute on behalf of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, its President, who is also the Bishop of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese of the Catholic Church, the Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, said the contribution of Cardinal Dery to the Catholic Church in Ghana and the whole world was immense and needed to be acknowledged.