General News of 2014-05-22

‘Don’t use pulpit to campaign for your parties’ – Group to Clergy

The National Secretariat of the United Cadres Front(UCF) has criticized the clergy for what it describes as comments against the current government.

The Methodist Church Diocesan Bishop of Obuasi, Rt. Rev. Stephen Richard Bosomtwi-Ayensu is alleged to have referred to the leadership of the country as liars.

A press statement issued by the Secretariat noted that, “as much as the UCF recognizes every individual’s right to free speech and association, we think it is now becoming a norm for some members of the clergy to use the pulpit of the Lord to propagate their partisan leanings to their congregants.”

It further stated that religious leaders can only be respected when they speak with “clerical decorum;” “When they mount the pulpits and turn them into political campaign arenas, it will get to a time that the citizenry will return their vituperations in like manner,” it further noted.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, the Deputy General Secretary of the Secretariat, Camillaus Sakzeezi said the clergy is hiding behind the pulpit to propagate their political agenda.

“We have nothing against a Bishop or any of the clergy members expressing their opinion about development, economy or whatsoever, but what we want to bring out is that people are hiding behind religious enclaves and trying to force their political ambitions on the congregation that they lead and that is what we are against.”

“We are not against people criticizing the government of the NDC, but when it is done with some malice and the intent of inciting the citizenry against it by some members of the clergy – we have a problem with that,” he added.

He further noted that Rev. Ayensu Bonsu’s comment was tantamount to inciting his congregation against the government.

In that regard, he emphasized the need fo the clergy to criticize government and other political leaders constructively.

Below is the full statement issued by the UCF

In the matter of “our leaders are big liars”: cadres react to bishop bosomtwi-ayensu

The National Secretariat of the United Cadres’ Front (UCF) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has been keenly following comments made by some members of the clergy on the leadership of this country.

Quiet recently the Methodist Church Diocesan Bishop of Obuasi, Rt. Rev. Stephen Richard Bosomtwi-Ayensu, was reported by the media as having called our leaders – “LIARS”.

The Chronicle of Monday, May 12, 2012, in page two had this caption: “Our leaders are big liars” It is not the first time the Bishop is making such sensational statements.

It is recalled that the same personality took on the government in very rough language at a crusade in his diocese as captured by the Daily Guide on Friday, 31 January this. Much as the UCF recognizes every individual’s right to free speech and association, we think it is now becoming a norm for some members of the clergy to use the pulpit of the Lord to propagate their partisan leanings to their congregants.

We are surprised that the Bishop, being a leader himself can open his mouth and seeing political leaders as quoted by The Chronicle that the “leaders of our time are nothing but liars”.

Religious leaders we agree must be respected but that can only be done when they speak with clerical decorum.

However, when they mount the pulpits and turn them into political campaign arenas, it will get to a time that the citizenry will return their vituperations in like manner.

Bishop Bosomtwi Ayensu ought to be told in plain language that he better put aside his clerical cassock and collar, put on the political garments of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and join them in their campaign to win power in 2016.

We are of this reasoning because he has already started the campaign for the NPP as The Chronicle reported in its last paragraph: “Rev. Bosomtwi Ayensu also noted that 2016 is not far away and urged all stakeholders to prepare towards a clean and Godly elections; and urged the Electoral Commission to be extra vigilant in the upcoming elections”.

If this is not political campaign that has fallen short of naming a party he is campaigning for – what else can we assign this talk to?

To the Bishop, all elections conducted by the Electoral Commission were ‘DEVILISHLY’ conducted since 1992 and thus a “Godly” one needed next time round.

As referenced earlier this same Bishop, on Friday, 31st January this year was given a prominent publication when he was addressing a so-called crusade in the same diocese and turned it into a political talk and did a very good ‘washing’ of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Admittedly, however, some of the issues he critiqued especially on corruption were captured by the UCF when we convened a Press Conference on 16th April this year at the International Press Centre.

We are, therefore, not against people criticizing the government of the NDC but when it done with some malice and the intent of inciting the citizenry against it by some members of the clergy – we have problem with that. Our concern is also the intemperate language the media captured him as saying.

He is not alone in the POLITICAL CRUSADE against the NDC.

There are a few others who have made it a point to use the church in advancing the course of our political opponents. In the 2012 electioneering campaign, many church leaders openly used their services to campaign for the NPP.

But as we have posited – they have the right to belong to political parties and work for them.

What we are against is using the name of God in ‘crusades and Synods’ to do the biddings of political parties. We leave the Bishop and his like-minded colleagues to their conscience.

Source: citifmonline
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