ACCRA , 19 February, 2021 / 8:54 PM (ACI Africa).-
Catholic Bishops in Ghana have condemned proponents of homosexuality in the West African nation and urged government authorities "to state unambiguously their position on the matter."
“We the Catholic Bishops in Ghana write to condemn all those who support the practice of homosexuality in Ghana,” the members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) say in their Friday, February 19 letter obtained by ACI Africa.
GCBC members are reacting to the ongoing controversy about homosexuality in the country, pitting the Executive Secretary of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, Lawyer Moses Foh-Amoaning, and the leadership of the European Union (EU).
The lawyer has condemned the EU leadership in Ghana “for asking Ghanaians to respect and tolerate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) individuals in the country,” the Catholic Bishops say in their collective statement signed by GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh.
“He said the EU should not impose their so-called values and beliefs on Ghanaians who are against homosexuality,” the Bishop say, making reference to Mr. Foh-Amoaning who “was reacting to a post issued by the EU's office in Ghana for the rights of the LGBTQI community to be respected and tolerated.”
In the three-page statement, GCBC members say that the lawyer “recently waged a crusade for the shutdown of a new office space for the LGBTQI movement in Ghana” saying “the laws, values and cultural beliefs in Ghana do not allow for such practices.”
“We also write to support the position of Lawyer Moses Foh-Amoaning and the Coalition who for years has been championing the crusade against homosexuality,” the Catholic Bishops say, and add, “We also commend other individuals who have spoken in condemnation of this practice. “
Their support, the members of GCBC say, is “because the Roman Catholic Church is opposed to this abominable practice.”
In making their case against the practice of homosexuality in the West African nation, the Catholic Bishops cite Biblical verses against the practice and the teachings of the Catholic Church on the same.
They however caution against subjecting “homosexuals to harassment just because they are homosexuals” and explain that “the intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action, and in law.”
“Homosexuals must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity,” Catholic Bishops in Ghana clarify in their February 19 statement.
They reiterate Pope Francis’ message in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia where he says, “Every sign of unjust discrimination is to be avoided particularly any form of aggression or violence.”
GCBC members further clarify, “According to the Church's understanding of human rights, the rights of homosexuals as persons do not include the right of a man to marry a man or of a woman to marry a woman.”
For the Catholic Church, the Bishops underscore, same sex union “is morally wrong and goes against God's purpose for marriage.”
They also point out that the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ruled on 9 June 2016 that “same-sex marriages are not considered a human right, making it clear that homosexual partnerships do not in fact equal marriages between a man and a woman.”
“In the light of the foregoing, we call upon the President of the Republic and Parliament to state unambiguously their position on the matter of homosexuality and its practice in Ghana,” the Bishops urge in their February 19 statement obtained by ACI Africa.
They also call on the Ghanaian government “to close down the LGBTQI office space that was recently opened in Accra.”
“We also urge the Executive and the Legislature never to be cowed down or to succumb to the pressure to legalize the rights of LGBTQIs in Ghana,” Catholic Bishops in the West African nation emphasize.