, 14 December, 2019 / 9:16 AM
During the December 11 maiden forum of discussion bringing together religious and secular leaders in Ghana termed “Conversations in the Cathedral,” the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, John Bonaventure Kwofie used the opportunity of the Advent Season to invite Christians in the West African nation to be mindful of the needy in society.
“Let’s celebrate this Christmas by thinking of what can be done to ease the situation of the abandoned, the marginalized, the forgotten, the sick, the aged, the needy,” Archbishop Kwofie said at the forum held at Holy Spirit Cathedral in Ghana’s capital, Accra and streamed live on various online forums.
He added, “Let us celebrate Christmas taking a positive stand in support of the human person, in order to bring to an end whatever diminishes the dignity of the human person.”
“As we look forward to Christmas, I encourage all to celebrate in moderation, let us remember to share our joy with the poor and less privileged,” he said.
“God gave Jesus to us as a gift and we must also offer ourselves as gifts to other, in terms of doing whatever we can to bring peace, comfort and solace to others,” Archbishop Kwofie said.
Reflecting on the theme, “Being a Christian in Ghana Today: In preparation for Christmas 2019”, the Archbishop of Accra said that Christians should “celebrate Christmas by doing everything that will allow us to live life to the full.”
“At the end of the day let us not forget to keep Christ within Christmas,” Archbishop Kwofie emphasized.
He cautioned the rich who keep amassing earthly goods at the expense of the poor saying, “Your wealth should be a blessing to the poor, don’t accumulate wealth to make others poor.”
The ecumenical event was attended by political leaders and religious leaders from other Christian denominations.
Sharing his reflections, the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church, Rev. Mensah Otabil said that Christmas was a time of wonder, hope, gratitude and celebration.
“Since God chose Mary as the Mother of the Saviour out of her inexperience, simplicity and humility, God can also do greater things out of our human uninitiated,” Rev. Otabil said.
On his part, the Chairman of Ghana’s National Peace Council, Emmanuel Asante, said that Christians have the responsibility to serve God while anticipating the coming of Christ through his birth at Christmas.
Asante urged Christians who are involved in politics not to compromise their Christian morality saying, “politics must be done with religious considerations” and “Christians must not be of the world since they are not above the law.”
He added, “Christians have a mandate to cooperate with government institutions and be responsible citizens (who) exercise their civic responsibilities by contributing their quota to the development of the nation.”
The Church, Asante also said, “cannot remain aloof on the socio-economic issues of the country but must be rooted in the activities of the state and society (because) when we cut off society, the Church become paralyzed.”
“Christians are citizens of heaven and that shouldn’t be destroyed by their aloofness,” he concluded.
Ghana’s Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto who represented President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo assured Ghanaians that government will continue to roll out good policies that would inure to the benefit of the citizens.
Former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama thanked God for taking the citizens through a “difficult year” and prayed that Ghanaians would renew their faith in human kindness and love during Christmas.
The forum “Conversations in the Cathedral” is aimed at bringing people of diverse backgrounds, expertise and creed together to dialogue as people of the same humanity who have the interest of the common good at stake, which will in turn create a bridge of trust among all participants and their various followers.
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