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Catholic Archbishop in Ghana Dismisses as "false” CNN Report Quoting Him on Homosexuality

Archbishop Philip Naameh of Ghana's Tamale Archdiocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The October 8 CNN report quoting Archbishop Philip Naameh as saying that the West African country risks becoming a Muslim-majority nation if homosexual practices are allowed, is false, the Catholic Church leader has said. 

The Archbishop of Ghana’s Tamale Archdiocese who doubles as the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) was addressing journalists Monday, October 11, a dozen of days after Catholic Bishops in Ghana issued a collective statement supporting the government bill to outlaw homosexual practices

In the CNN report, Archbishop Naameh is quoted as saying, "Those who are promoting gays and lesbians are not going to have children at all, and within a short time nobody should be surprised that Muslims will become a majority in this country and declare it an Islamic state."

“I wish to state categorically and for the avoidance of doubt, that the statement attributed to me is false and do not in any way reflect the actual content of the conversation which has to do with the Church’s support for the Bill,” Archbishop Naameh said.

The Ghanaian Archbishop added, “The position of the Catholic Church on LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual), which I have stated in several interviews with the media ... has remained the same; that, such practices are against not only Christian values, but Muslim and Traditional values as well.”

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“It is also important to add that for the past 44 years that I have been a Priest, I have always promoted peaceful coexistence, religious tolerance and harmony amongst all people,” the President of GCBC went on to say. 

Indeed, he continued, “all these years, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference has insisted on mutual collaboration among Christians, Moslems, Traditional Leaders and all other Faith-Based Organizations in the country for peaceful co-existence and the common Good.”

False claims by the media seek to create discord among those championing the proposed law that aims to outlaw homosexual practices in the country, the Ghanaian Archbishop said, adding in reference to journalists behind the October 8 CNN report, “I have the feeling that they only sought to cause disaffection for me and break the front of the formidable Coalition behind the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill.”

The proposed Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, which was introduced in Ghana’s Parliament in July, is a legal provision that would punish displays of same-sex affection and advocacy for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community rights with up to a decade in prison.

“It is in the light of the above that I call on all peace-loving Ghanaians and all people of goodwill to disregard with contempt the fabrications and distortions which are intended to distract our collective quest to make sure the bill is passed,” GCBC President said during the October 11 presser.

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In a statement dated September 28, GCBC members expressed their support for the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill.

“We, the Catholic Bishops of Ghana, write in support of the draft Bill presented to Parliament to make homosexual practices illegal in Ghana,” the Catholic Bishops said. 

They add, “Our voice needs to be heard on this matter not only because, in our view, it is morally unacceptable but also because according to the 2010 population census, the Catholic Church in Ghana constitutes a sizable percentage of the population, that is, about 13.1 per cent of the population of Ghana.”

“As a Church, we want this abominable practice made illegal in our country,” GCBC members said in their collective statement circulated October 7.