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Politics in Ghana Shifted from “divinely ordained profession” to “disgusting word”: Bishop

Bishop Alfred Agyenta of Ghana's Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese . Credit: Courtesy Photo

Politics in Ghana has shifted bring being “a divinely ordained profession” to a word that is “disgusting”, a Catholic Bishop in the West African nation has said.

In his homily during the Funeral Mass of the late Member of Parliament (MP) for the Navrongo Central Constituency, Joseph Kofi Adda, over the weekend, Bishop Alfred Agyenta said, “Politics by nature is a divinely ordained profession. Politics is a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity.”

Unfortunately, Bishop Agyenta lamented during the Saturday, February 12 Funeral Mass, “for many people today, politics is a disgusting word.”

Politics has become a “disgusting word” for many people “often due to the mistakes, the corruption, and inefficiency of some politicians,” the Local Ordinary of Ghana’s Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese explained.

He added, “There are some people who think that being a Christian and a politician at the same time are two incompatible ways of life.”

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“This way of thinking is probably inspired by the common saying that politics is a dirty game,” Bishop Agyenta observed, and continued, “The truth of the matter is that politics is not dirty, rather, it is we, humans, who are dirty, and have made politics dirty.”

The 63-year-old Catholic Church leader further said, “It is we human beings who tainted politics with our greed and selfishness, acrimony and violence.”

The commandment to “love your neighbor becomes more compelling for politicians who had committed themselves to promote the common good of all,” the Ghanaian Bishop further said, and added, “True and genuine politics is not possible without the embrace of some transcending values that challenge us to look beyond the immediate interest of election victories.”

He went on to say that the “teachings of Jesus Christ as contained in the Beatitudes clearly defined some of the values that should guide politicians in their political career.”

Espousing values that Jesus Christ taught in the Beatitudes “inevitably leads to the practice of politics that places the common good of all above everything,” Bishop Agyenta added.

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He highlighted some of the Beatitudes saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit … reminds us that politics is not about enriching oneself or amassing wealth.”

Instead, the Ghanaian continued, politics “is about having a gallant attitude towards the material goods of this earth, and as leaders, to make sure that no one is left behind in the distribution of these goods.”

He urged politicians to consider their role in society “as a calling to work towards addressing the needs of the poor and the vulnerable in the society” and encouraged them “to serve the people to the best of their abilities, and to work to improve the lives of ordinary Ghanaians so as to reduce the pressure on the government.”

Bishop Agyenta further described the late MP as “a committed Catholic who served God dutifully.”

“As a strong and devoted Catholic, Mr. Adda did not allow his life as a political figure to interfere with his religious duties towards his maker, and that is what I expect from every person within the political space,” the Ghanaian Catholic Bishop said during the February 12 Funeral Mass.

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He added in reference to the late MP, “I thank the Almighty God for his service to his constituents and the nation.”