Use homilies to preach against galamsey –Catholic priests tasked

Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle and Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa Agyekum unveiling a plague  to inaugurate the  building

Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle and Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa Agyekum unveiling a plague to inaugurate the building

The Convener of the media coalition against galamsey, Mr Ken Ashigbey, has called on Catholic priests and catechists to speak up against illegal mining that is causing the degradation of forests and the pollution of water bodies.

He said they must use their homilies to preach against galamsey and called for sustainable mining in the country to address the menace.

Addressing a durbar to climax the silver jubilee anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Koforidua on Saturday, Mr Ashigbey, however, thanked the Catholic Bishops Conference for lending its support to the Media Coalition against Galamsey’s call to stop illegal mining.

“But we can do a lot more as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our diocese. Let us call on our priests and catechists to dedicate their homilies to preach Laudato si and support the fight to protect our today and our future,” he stated.”

The anniversary started on Thursday and ended on Sunday with a thanksgiving mass that was held on the theme: CDK@25: Renewing our faith in the light of the new evangelisation.

It was used to bestow honours on priests, religious, parishioners and individuals for their distinguished contributions and support to the development of the diocese over the years.

They included the Omanhene of New Juaben, Daasebre (Prof) Emeritus Oti Boateng; the first Bishop of the diocese, Most Rev Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, who is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra Diocese and George P. Hagan, a former flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Chairman of Cocoa Board among other hardworking church members.

Referring to the Pope of the Catholic Church second encyclical Laudito si “Praise be to you”, Mr Ashigbey said Pope Francis critiqued consumerism and irresponsible development, lamented environmental degradation and global warming and called on all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action.”

“My Lord and the people of Koforidua we are failing His Holiness, if we do not speak up and stop the degradation of our water bodies; the Birim and other river bodies are dying, our lands are being degraded, our people are being poisoned and some of them are dying in the pits,” he stated.

He expressed satisfaction that recent reports from the Ghana Water Company had shown that water bodies affected by illegal mining were gradually getting clearer, saying that “this proves that our collective effort is yielding results.”

In his keynoted address on the great commission and the new evangelisation, Most Rev Palmer-Buckle, who presided over the durbar, said the early missionaries, priests and religious of the church had done their best for the church in the last 100 years of the Catholic Diocese of Koforidua.

He added “Now the Holy Catholic Church is asking us to take up the same commission of Christ in a new way dubbed the new evangelisation,” for which priests, catechists and religious of the church must help to achieve today.

He further stated that there were still many people in the Eastern Region that had not heard of the good news of Christ Jesus for their salvation and therefore, called on Catholics to preach the gospel to them.

As part of the celebration, a new Catholic Secretariat which cost GH₵928,000 was jointly inaugurated by the Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle and the Bishop of the Koforidua Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa Agyekum.

FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU-NYARKO, KOFORIDUA

 

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