Catholic Archbishop in Ghana Laments Indifference “towards the Gospel of Christ”

Archbishop Philip Naameh during the start of the Plenary Assembly of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) on 7 November 2022. Credit: GCBC

A Catholic Archbishop in Ghana has expressed concern about the tendency on the part of the people of God in the West African nation to detach from “the Gospel of Christ”. 

Delivering his opening remarks during the start of the Plenary Assembly of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) on Monday, November 7, Archbishop Philip Naameh said the indifference is manifested in a variety of vices, including environmental degradation, corruption, dishonesty and the uncontrollable appetite of wealth by Christians.

“The situation in Ghana today presents a clear sign of a society that is gradually becoming indifferent towards the Gospel of Christ. It is a new challenge to us as a Church,” the Local Ordinary of Ghana’s Tamale Archdiocese who doubles as GCBC President said.

The Ghanaian Archbishop said he found it regrettable that there is “a serious dichotomy between the life of some members and the Gospel message for which they are not able to witness.”

He said that while the Christian population in the West African nation is increasing, “our country is experiencing a growing shift away from the Gospel message in the lives of people.”


“This situation of Ghana presents a complex challenge, a roadblock to the evangelizing mission of the Church,” Archbishop Naameh said during the opening of the Plenary Assembly that was convened at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Hall in Donkorkrom Vicariate. 

The Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in May 1995 as Bishop of Ghana’s Damongo Diocese continued, “We are confronted in the news with the uncontrollable appetite for wealth by Christians, particularly the youth who will go any length to ensure that they make money.” 

There is also an expanding gap between the rich and the poor in the country, he told GCBC members, representatives of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and the Laity who gathered for the opening ceremony of the Plenary Assembly, adding that there are high levels of immorality and indiscipline among the youth in the country.

The Ghanaian Archbishop said that the reported cases of examination leakages in junior and senior high schools, tertiary institutions and law schools are a demonstration that the virtue of honesty is being overlooked especially by the younger generation.

“Today, the principle of ‘the end justifies the means’ has taken a grip on some Ghanaians who think it does not matter how one gets what he or she wants. This is buttressed by the ritual killings of innocent people in Wa in the Upper West Region, Mankessim and Kasoa in the Central Region and other parts of the country,” he said.  

More in Africa

In his opening remarks at the Assembly that started November 6 and is expected to end on November 13, the GCBC President went on to highlight the issue of illegal mining activities, which have serious effects on the environment and the quality of life of Ghanaians as an issue of concern. 

“Many galamsey operators in Ghana are known to use mercury for gold recovery, an environmentally damaging practice which has been largely phased out in many countries of the world,” Archbishop Naameh said and explained that when exposed to the human body, mercury can lead to neurological challenges for unborn children.

In water bodies, he said that mercury changes from metallic to organic form and can stay in rivers for years and find their way into, fishes which eventually reach the people through the human food chain he further said.

He went on to say that the destruction of the soil system during mining will deprive several generations of Ghanaians their “God-given right to till the land and make a living from it by way of agriculture.”

“When stones or pebbles are brought to the soil surface as a result of galamsey activities, a fairly permanent destruction occurs to the soil system, because it takes between 500-1000 years before the mined-out stones are weathered to form top soils to support vegetation. This is an excellent example of how reckless exploitation of our mineral resources can deprive future generations of the ability to feed themselves,” he said.


The GCBC President said unsustainable mining practices “must be avoided at all costs since joblessness, and poverty is no license for lawlessness and destruction of Ghana’s natural resource base.” 

“We should all call for responsible mining practices; else, we will have no future to leave for our children and grandchildren in our beloved country,” he said at the start of the weeklong Plenary Assembly convened under the theme, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission in the Light of the New Evangelization in Ghana.’ 

The Archbishop said the situations in the West African nation need to get GCBC members worried because “some of the people involved are members of our Church.”

“As Pope Benedict and also Pope Francis have indicated, the Catholic faith is no longer seen in the lives of some of our faithful people of God. This is due to lack of personal faith and conviction which is a consequence of the lack of encounter with Jesus Christ,” he said.

As a way forward, Archbishop Naameh said there is need for “new strategy with renewed passion to proclaim Christ to people.”

(Story continues below)

“We also need to intensify catechesis and formation programs of the faithful to focus on helping the individual to live their Christian faith through a personal encounter with Christ,” he said.

The Ghanaian Archbishop added, “Where there is a deep and personal encounter with Christ, the individual will be able to hold firm to his or her faith even in difficult times and be able to propose Christ to others.” 

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.