Jesuit Entity in Ghana Calls on Bishops to Examine “current realities” at Plenary Assembly

Logo Arrupe Jesuit Institute (AJI). Credit: AJI

The leadership of the Arrupe Jesuit Institute (AJI), a Ghana-based social justice centre of the Jesuit North-West Africa Province, is calling upon Catholic Bishops in Ghana consider examining the “current realities” in the West African nation during their Plenary Assembly. 

In a message shared with ACI Africa Friday, November 4 ahead of the Plenary Assembly of members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference (GCBC), AJI leadership says the meeting and the theme “could not have come at a more propitious time”.

“The theme of the GCBC assembly, ‘For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission in the Light of the New Evangelization in Ghana’, augers well for their prayerful consideration of Ghana’s current realities,” AJI officials say in reference to the meeting scheduled to begin on November 4 in the Apostolic Vicariate of Donkorkrom in Eastern Ghana.

Making reference to the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, AJI officials say, “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of Ghanaians today, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and the hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.”

In the message signed by AJI’s Executive Director of the Accra-based Jesuit institute, Fr. Addy Kpanie, the officials term the Catholic Bishops’ Plenary Assembly as “timely”. 


“As our country confronts profound challenges such as rapidly worsening economic conditions exacerbated by our unstable currency, the wanton destruction of our nation’s land and water resources through illegal small-scale mining, aka galamsey, heightened political tensions due to seeming government intransigence etc., this meeting of our bishops, called by God to be watchmen for the people of Ghana, could not be more timely,” they say. 

“The GCBC has a storied history of making crucial interventions in Ghana’s socio-political life,” AJI leadership says, adding that “in our days too, there can be no doubt that we – Catholics and non-Catholics alike – look with eager expectation to the GCBC to demonstrate continuity with this illustrious tradition of prophetic engagement with Ghanaian society.”

They urge the Catholic Bishops to continue “being the voice of the voiceless, speaking truth courageously and unambiguously to power, denouncing evil, defending the powerless, championing the common good, including the good of care for our common home in the spirit of Laudato Si’.”

“The providence of the GCBC assembly coinciding with the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), taking place from November 6-18 in Egypt, invites, nay, demands more urgent action from the Catholic Church and the entire Christian community to preserve and protect Ghana’s natural resources for posterity,” officials of the Jesuit entity say.

They continue, “The AJI articulates the hopes of many in Ghana that our Bishops will show leadership in this regard, even beyond communiqués. “

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In the November 4 message, the leadership of the Jesuit entity pledges “unalloyed support for our Bishops.”

AJI officials urge “all – Catholics and non-Catholics – indeed, all people of goodwill to prayerfully accompany our shepherds during their days of prayer and deliberation.”

Guided in their discernment and emboldened in their actions by the Holy Spirit, AJI leadership prays for GCBC members “to embody the truth of Scripture that the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

“We commend this assembly of the GCBC to St Charles Borromeo, the patron saint of bishops, on whose feast this plenary assembly begins,” they implore, and “ask the prayerful intercession of Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, for the successors of the apostles shepherding Christ’s flock in Ghana.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.