, 31 July, 2020 / 10:26 PM
A Ghanaian Archbishop has encouraged the making of homes “truly domestic churches” amid COVID-19 restrictions that have made staying at home “very difficult for many.”
In a video message posted on Facebook, Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle says, “The time has come for us in the Catholic Church to revive what is called the domestic Church.”
“One of the protocols of these COVID-19 restrictions is that we should stay at home. I know that staying at home has become very difficult for many of us for whom our homes were just a place of sleeping, co-tenancy,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle explains in the Thursday, July 30 Facebook post.
He says that ““We have been compelled to make our homes really a home where there is love, there is peace, there is joy, there is sharing.”
“I pray that our homes may become truly domestic Churches where a family that prays together stays together,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle who is the Local Ordinary of Ghana’s Cape Coast Archdiocese implores in the 2.39-minute video message.
In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo imposed a three-week partial lockdown in the cities of Kumasi, Accra and Tema in March. The President also suspended public worship in the country.
Restrictions on public worship have now been relaxed and in the latest development, President Akufo-Addo extended the duration of worship from one hour to two hours.
The West African nation has reported at least 35,142 cases of the novel coronavirus including 31,286 recoveries and 175 deaths.
Referencing gender-based violence that has increased in households since COVID-19 restrictions were imposed in the country in March, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle has, in the video message, warned against violence saying, “Those of us who have the tendency of inflicting violence on one another, my answer to you is, pray together.”
“Start by praying together, husband, wife, children,” the Ghanaian Archbishops says, adding that families that pray together get “God to live with them and help them overcome their challenges.”
He goes on to encourage members of families to “eat together, read the scriptures together and know that Jesus is in your midst.”
“Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am,” the 70-year-old Prelate says referencing Matthew’s Gospel and adds, “This is the only way we can overcome domestic violence and all the challenges that we go through.”
The Archbishop also encourages family members to make good use of the stay at home measure to know each other better.
“Husbands know your wives; wives know your husbands; children know your parents; parents know your children,” the Archbishop notes.
Just like the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, the Prelate implores, “Let us lay down our lives for one another so that our homes become domestic churches where God is present because Jesus says, where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.”
“May God bless all homes, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle concludes.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa