Ghana’s President Urges Catholic Clergy to Foster Cohesion, Solidarity, Nation-building

President Nana Akufo-Addo addressing Clergy. Credit: The Presidency Republic of Ghana

The President of Ghana has called on Catholic Clergy in the country to foster the values of cohesion, solidarity, and nation-building among the people of God in the West African nation.

In his speech at the 28th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NUGCDPA), President Nana Akufo-Addo also expressed his “deep admiration” for the Church and acknowledged her contribution to Ghana’s “political and socio-economic development and the role, that the Catholic Clergy play in our society.”

Our nation relies on you (Catholic Priests) to form your congregants on nation-building for them to see the importance of the social implication of the Gospel as it relates to national cohesion and development, and the relationship between spirituality and work ethics,” President Akufo-Addo said Wednesday, January 4.

He also entreated members of the Clergy “to continue and preach about the need for solidarity, a key tenet of Catholic Social teachings, which emphasizes firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good.”

“From the pulpit do encourage hard work, understanding work as a vocation, and patriotism as a virtue, that Ghanaians must continue to embrace in this new year and beyond so that Ghana will remain a shining star of Africa and a key player in the world stage,” the Ghanaian President told the Clergy who convened in the Catholic Diocese of Koforidua. 


He went on to emphasize the need for collaboration between the Church and the government, saying, “As Pope Benedict XVI rightly noted the legitimate separation of church and state cannot be taken to me that the church must be silent on certain issues nor that …the state may choose not to engage or be engaged by the voices of cognitive believers in determining the values which will save the future of the place.”

He called upon members of the Clergy to pray for Ghana to “surmount the currencies to economic challenges we face together.”

The President also expressed his determination to have a nation “where justice and peace embrace, where the common good is safeguarded and promoted where the bonds of fraternity as called for by his Holiness Pope Francis in his Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti.”

President Akufo-Addo also emphasized the importance of listening and encounter as the people of God take part in the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality in Ghana.

He said Pope Francis has expressed the hope that the Church would become “a synodal church, ‘an open Square where all can feel at home and participate.’”

More in Africa

Pope Francis also wished that the Church would be attentive to the hopes and needs of Christians and it will be “a church of closeness, a church which ‘immerses herself in today's problems and needs, bandaging wounds, and healing broken hearts with the bomb of God,’” the Ghanaian President said.

The Pope’s desire for a synodal, listening church of closeness has direct implications for Diocesan Priests, President Akufo-Addo said, and posed, “How can you pay attention to the needs of your flock without being a synodal church, a listening church, and a Church of closeness?” 

Ghana’s Head of State also said there is need to look into the welfare of Diocesan Clergy “in a way that enables the Priest to pour out his life as a libation for service in God’s kingdom, knowing that now and in the future, when old age smiles at him or if he is incapacitated to fulfill his duties due to debilitating sickness, he would enjoy a modicum of comfort.” 

“That would definitely encourage the priest to give his all to his ministry and for the good of our beloved country,” he said, and added, “I pray that in the spirit of Synodality, the Catholic church in Ghana will advance the conversation about the welfare of the Diocesan Priest.”

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.