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Catholic Bishops in Ghana, Government Disagree on Proposed Financing of National Cathedral

The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), Archbishop Phillip Naameh. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Bishops in Ghana are faulting the government for calling on citizens to donate at least 100GHC (US$6.00) monthly for the construction of a national interdenominational cathedral in the West African country.

In a Wednesday, August 4 report, the leadership of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) say the government needed to consult with Christian leaders in the country, even if it is a “minimum level of consultation.”

“Although Christians would benefit the most from the construction of the cathedral, they shouldn’t be expected to donate to support it,” GCBC President, Archbishop Phillip Naameh, has been quoted as saying. 

The Archbishop of Tamale who was speaking on behalf of GCBC members adds, “I think the modality for funding the project should've been different.” 

Last month, Ghana's Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the launching of the “100-cedis-a-month club” on August 12, to enable the people of God in the country to contribute towards the construction of the national cathedral.

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The government of the West African country is spearheading the construction of the national interdenominational cathedral of Ghana with a seating capacity of 5,000 people, expected to be unveiled in 2023.

Launched by Ghana’s government in March 2017 as part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence, the cathedral is to be built next to the parliament building in the center of the Ghanaian capital, Accra.

When complete, the structure is to have space for official state and religious activities and would symbolize the enormous contribution of faith to the building of the nation.

Fundraising for the construction began in 2018. At the time, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said, "The cathedral will fill the missing link in the architecture of our country ... It will be a house for interfaith services and prayers and as a venue for official state events of a religious nature such as presidential inaugurations, state funerals, and national thanksgiving prayers"

According to Catholic Bishops in Ghana, the government should have turned to Christian leaders in the country for advice on how to finance the construction of the national interdenominational cathedral.

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“It is not long ago that the Minister of Finance came up with the proposal and we felt that a certain minimum level of consultation should’ve been done with the churches in the country,” GCBC President has been quoted as saying in the August 4 report.