They appeal to Catholics to take the decrease in their numbers seriously, saying, “This is why no Catholic can remain comfortable or unconcerned about this alarming situation.”
“A complex of many external and internal factors account for the dwindling population of Catholics in Ghana,” GCBC members say.
They explain, “Some of the external factors include unfavorable Ghana Education policies, proselytization by other churches or religions, emigration, negative impact of the (social) media, socio-economic problems.”
The Catholic Church leaders identify inadequate Chaplaincy services for those in non-Catholic institutions, insufficient catechesis on pre-Sacraments of Initiation, lack of post- Confirmation catechesis especially for the youth, inadequate implementation of the National Youth Policy, inadequate marriage and family life formation, dwindling missionary zeal, insufficient employment of the mass media as some of the internal factors.
No Catholic should remain “complacent or indifferent” in the face of the Catholic population issue in the country, they say in the statement signed by GCBC President, Bishop Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi of the Catholic Diocese of Sunyani.
“There should be attitudinal change among all bishops, priests, religious, seminarians, catechists and other lay faithful, including the youth,” the Catholic Bishops further say, adding that all Catholics need to work together, “not only to stem the tide of the decline, but also to begin to grow the population of Catholics in Ghana.”
They say that while the GCBC will endeavor to address the population challenge at the national level, “there should be intentional and collaborative efforts at the diocesan, parish, outstation, basic Christian community and family levels to grow the Catholic population by the year 2030 and in the subsequent decades.”
The Catholic Bishops call for the “renewal or intensification of well strategized primary evangelization, including revival and crusade programmes.”
“The missionary spirit and zeal should be re-enkindled in the clergy, religious and laity, including the youth,” they emphasize.
There is need to implement “good strategies for Church planting in towns, suburbs and villages without Catholic presence,” GCBC members further say, adding that good strategies “will bring the Church closer to the faithful, some of whom travel long distances to attend Mass.”