Growing crave for money worrying – Catholic Bishops

97588721The Daily Graphic – The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) has expressed concern over the growing trend of materialism and crave for money which has taken centre stage in all aspects of the Ghanaian life.

Such inordinate desire to make quick money and by whatever means possible, it stated, was bringing a huge social cost and untold suffering to the poor and the vulnerable in society.

“It is in this light that we note with sadness the growing inequalities in our society fueled by corruption and other forms of malfeasance in recent times,” it said.

This was contained in a communiqué signed by the President of the GCBC, the Most Rev Joseph Osei-Bonsu, who is also the Bishop of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese, and issued by the GCBC at the end of its meeting in Sunyani.

The week-long meeting was on the theme, “The new evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith in Ghana”.

According to the communiqué, corruption came in all forms and occurred in all places of public and social life — in churches, educational institutions and health facilities.

“We are all culpable of what is happening in this country, since, advertently or inadvertently, we stoke the fires of greed and materialism anytime we give or receive bribes, when we steal church, public and private funds or misuse public property for personal gain,” it said.

It called on the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) and all other anti-corruption bodies mandated to protect the national purse and fight graft in the public sector to hold public office holders accountable for their actions.

“The current situation whereby investigations and prosecution of corrupt public office holders yield no concrete results is highly regrettable and seems to encourage further malpractices,” the communiqué said.

It, therefore, called on the government to ensure that all the law enforcement agencies were properly resourced and given the free hand to carry out their statutory tasks and to avoid creating any impression in the minds of Ghanaians that the government condoned and encouraged the culture of impunity.

Meanwhile, the communique was issued before President John Dramani Mahama on Friday announced administrative actions he had taken to prevent the perpetration of corruption, prosecute officials and retrieve moneys wrongfully paid to individuals and companies.

Civil and political Life

Calling on all public office holders to lead by example, the communiqué urged them to stand out and conduct themselves with integrity and love for their neighbour and the nation.

“Let them endeavour to influence others more by their honesty than by anything else,” it said.

Socio-economic Life

It reminded Ghanaians that they had a God-given task to protect and use the environment judiciously and with responsibility for future generations who equally had a stake in the world.

It further called on all Ghanaians to take concrete steps to save arable lands, water bodies and forest reserves from destruction through the current spate of deforestation, illegal mining and bush fires.

“ We strongly exhort pastors in areas where these destructive activities are taking place to carry out and support advocacy programmes on behalf of the people whose lands and sources of livelihood are threatened by these activities,” it admonished.

It also called on traditional leaders to resist the temptation of collaborating with the perpetrators of those crimes, to the detriment of the common good of their own people.

“We further plead with them to be circumspect in the way and manner some of them dispose of the land which they hold in trust for their people,” it said.

Ethnic Affiliations

Although a treasured gift from God, the communiqué said ethnic diversity was becoming a threat to Ghana’s survival as a nation and posing a big challenge to the message of the Gospel.

It, therefore, called on all men and women of goodwill to eschew any form of discrimination along the lines of creed, gender, ethnicity and status and pursue the path that led to harmony and mutual co-existence.

New Evangelisation

It called on all Christians and members of other faith communities to renew their personal relationship with God and let that relationship influence their conduct.

It said it was regrettable that persons who bore the name ‘Christians’ were failing in their vocation to be “the salt of the earth and light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-14).

It noted that the core cultural and traditional values of love of neighbour, hospitality to stranger, disdain for theft and the appropriating of things that belonged to others respect for the elderly and love for moral rectitude seemed to have been lost.

Family

On the family, the communiqué said that vital unit of both society and the church was threatened today by models of family life that were incompatible with the design and will of God and needed to be protected by the state and evangelised with values that promoted it to play its role in society and the church.

It urged all parents and guardians to take their responsibilities more seriously, mindful of the fact that they were the very first agents of the human and religious formation of their families and wards.

The Ghanaian Context

The communique said in spite of Ghana’s flamboyant religious garb, the changing social, cultural, economic and political situation in the country was making a deep and personal encounter with Jesus Christ very difficult.

It said there were indications of growing indifference towards the message of the Gospel and a lack of personal commitment to God on the part of those who bore the name ‘Christian’.

“Whereas our churches are packed on Sundays with faithful worshippers, the fruits of this religious fervour are yet to be manifestly visible in our socio-economic and political life,” it added.

Categories: Church & Ministries

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