Religion Mon, 12 Jul 2010

Catholic Church insists it will relocate Social Advance Institute

Accra, July 12, GNA - The Catholic Archdiocese of Accra said on Monday it would not allow itself to be intimidated by any group of people and would go ahead with the relocation of the Social Advance Institute as scheduled.

It said extensive and adequate renovations had been made at great cost both at the Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church property and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church property to create a very congenial academic atmosphere for academic work for both staff and students. "The Catholic Social Advance Institute is not the first to be relocated and it will not be the last," said the statement signed jointly by Very Rev Francis Adoboli, the Vicar General, and Very Rev John Patrick Tindana, Chancellor of the Archdiocese. It said it is strange that a faction of the Parents/Teachers Association (PTA) of the Institute had set out to distort facts about the ownership of the Institute to put the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev Charles Palmer-Buckle, and the Catholic Church into disrepute.

The statement said Dr Helga Klienkowski, a German Catholic lawyer, decided to spend her life in Ghana shortly after independence working as a Catholic Lay Missionary.

On arrival in Ghana she was accommodated by the then Bishop of Accra, Most Rev Joseph Oliver Bowers, at what is now known as St Peter's House behind the former Catholic Press at Adabraka. She saw that many young girls were unable to make it to second cycle schools for many reasons including lack of resources and poor grades.

"This propelled her to take some of these dropouts and give them vocational training to equip them to face the future with some degree of confidence," the statement said.

Dr Klienkowski started the project in 1964 with seven students using her sitting room as a classroom with the approval and blessing of Bishop Bowers.


The statement said the Institute grew so fast that she had to look for a new accommodation from which to operate because students had covered every available space of her residence including her kitchen. It said Bishop Bowers, who celebrated his 100th birthday in March, acquired the present land for the Catholic Diocese of Accra and allowed Dr Klienkowski to use it for the project.

"The land on which the Institute now stands in therefore the bona fide property of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra and Most Rev Charles Palmer-Buckle as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra is therefore the successor owner of the land."

The statement said in December 1980, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which gave financial assistance to Dr Klienkowski, handed over the project to the then Bishop of Accra, Most Rev Dominic Andoh. The Archdiocese said it found it erroneous for the PTA to say that because Konrad Adenauer Foundation initially supported the building of the Institute it owns it.

"To say Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a donor, is the owner of the Institute amounts to saying that all donor agencies own the various projects that they have supported in the country. This statement is fallacious and untenable."

The statement said a faction within the PTA fighting against the relocation of the Institute is doing so out of entirely selfish motives and not on behalf of the students.

It said the Archdiocese took the threat to the Archbishop very serious and would hold that faction and their collaborators on the teaching staff jointly and severally responsible for anything that would happen to Most Rev Palmer-Buckle, who is the custodian of the Social Advance Institute.

Source: GNA