Catholic Bishops in Ghana Urge Prudence as Government Lifts COVID-19 Restrictions

Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC). Credit: GCBC

Catholic Bishops in Ghana have called on the people of God in the West African nation to remain cautious about COVID-19 after the country’s President announced the easing of restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the disease. 

On March 27, President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions that cover in-house worship, entertainment and transport operations. The Head of State also said the wearing of masks in public places is no longer compulsory.

In their Monday, April 4 statement, members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) “urge everyone to be prudent and avoid actions and behavior that could potentially be a risk.”

“Every assessment and decision should always be made in agreement with the Episcopal Conference, which will take into consideration the regulations that the competent civil authorities of the various countries adopt,” Catholic Bishops in Ghana say in their collective statement signed by GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh of Tamale Archdiocese. 

However, the Catholic Church leaders in Ghana urge members of the Clergy to “advise parishioners to wear face masks especially during indoor celebrations” as well as encourage the washing of hands and the use of hand sanitizers.


Priests have also been asked to “encourage those who have not been vaccinated to do so.”

GCBC members add that “first aid or COVID-19 medical personnel put in place during the pandemic should still be active.”

“In view of the ongoing slowdown of the pandemic,” Catholic Bishops in Ghana say, “We do not intend to offer any further guidelines for the Holy Week celebrations.” 

In their April 4 statement, GCBC members offer directives for the celebration of Holy Week, beginning Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday.

“Priests are encouraged to use the options given in the Roman Missal for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday,” Catholic Bishops in Ghana say. 

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They also ask for the maintenance of the “reception of Holy Communion in the hand.”

“Where a parishioner wants Holy Communion on the tongue, this should not be refused but done to avoid touching the tongue,” they say. 

In their April 4 collective statement, GCBC members also call on Ghanaians to pray for peace in the Kusasi-Mamprusi region following the resurgence of the Bawku conflict.

The Catholic Church leaders also urge Ghanaians to pray for an end to the Boko Haram insurgency and loss of lives in Nigeria, the Ukraine-Russia violence, and for an end to hunger and suffering in Somalia and other places experiencing similar challenges.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.