Religion Wed, 14 Dec 2016
The Catholic Bishop of Konongo-Mampong, the Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, has admonished Christians, particularly Catholics, not to extend the celebration of the victory of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the polls to the church.He said the church, as an institution, "is officially non-partisan".
He said it was natural for members of a political party to celebrate a political victory, as it was their right to do so.
"However, such celebrations cannot and should not take place in our churches," he stated.
The Most Rev. Osei-Bonsu, who is the immediate past President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, in a statement issued yesterday, condemned those who flooded churches last Sunday in party colours to celebrate the election of Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the President-elect.
He said there were reports of people wearing party clothes and other paraphernalia, including caps, handkerchiefs, scarves, belts, etc., in church.
He said there were also reports of some Catholics praying the Prayer of the Faithful along partisan political lines.
“This is not part of the Catholic tradition,” he stated.
He said the church "is a home to people from all political parties and nothing should be done to give the impression that it is home to only some of the faithful”.
“Everybody should feel at home in church, wherever they are,” he stated.
Don’t do it
The Most Rev. Osei-Bonsu said it was for that reason that he was asking Christians, particularly the Catholic faithful, not to engage in such acts.
"If you want to celebrate the victory of your party, you can do so in your homes or town, but not in the church. You can wear your party clothes and other paraphernalia in your homes and in town, but not in church," he stated.
Even such celebrations, he said, should be done in a non-provocative manner.
On the reported cases of attacks on people and the destruction or seizure of property associated with the celebration, the Most Rev. Osei-Bonsu urged all Ghanaians to desist from such acts of violence that were unbecoming of Christians and, indeed, of all good citizens.