‘What’s Catholic Church’s Contribution In Corruption Fight’
Few days ago, the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Accra, Charles Gabriel Palmer Buckle, joined the political bandwagon, crying massive corruption in the country and calling on Civil Society groups and think tanks to liberate Ghanaians from what he described as the “economic shackles”.
But what looks like a clear response to the man of God, a Presidential Staffer, Dr. Clement Apaak, has written an open letter to the archbishop, demanding to know what the church’s role is, and what it is doing to complement government’s effort in fighting the corruption canker, he is so worried about.
The letter themed, “Fight Against Corruption-Moral Society Can Do More”, Dr. Apaak reminded the archbishop that President John Mahama’s commitment to fight the menace head on, adding “yes, that is why President Mahama on several occasions likens corruption to [mass] murder and has called on all of us to join in the fight against corruption.
The archbishop, in a sermon and exhortation for the 25th anniversary celebration of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra, noted that “It seems everything in Ghana is good except Ghanaians”, somehow blaming it on the John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
The revered man of God, blamed most especially politicians, except the clergy, where he is known to play very critical role, as far as the building and development of one’s moral and spiritual well being is concerned.
The outspoken archbishop stated that, “2000 years on after Jesus, we still seem to be faced with the same challenges as in the time of Jesus.”
He blamed the situation on what he described as “blindness in the country,” emphasising further that “there’s so many blindness in the country.”
He explained, “I am not talking about physical blindness. I am talking about intellectual blindness; I am talking about excessive partisanship and misconception of religious thoughts”, adding that those had become shackles that had impeded the liberation of the people.
He elaborated on how countries like Japan and Malaysia among others, with fewer natural resources than Ghana, has out-developed the country as a result of competent leadership.
It is not readily known which form the “liberation of Ghanaians” by the likes of the IEA , is going to take. But one thing that is clear in the minds of some, is that the Ghanaian churches, whose leaders have never failed to criticize government in all areas, especially corruption, will never whip its flock in line, as far as the menace of corruption is concern.
The churches continue to give the front pews to it wealthy members to contribute handsomely to the development of the church, without questioning the source of their monies.
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Accra is not alone on this path as many, including the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Emmanuel Martey, the Methodist Bishop of the Obuasi Diocese Rt. Rev. Bosomtwi Ayensu and others have all bashed government for being corrupt, lacking foresight or being visionless.
The Presidential Staffer, Dr. Clement Apaak, questioned “What has been the role of the moral component (religion and other faith based institutions) of our society in the fight against corruption?
He asked the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Accra, “Do you not think that besides Government, NGOs and CSOs, it’s time for moral social to take up an active role, especially when most Ghanaians claim to be religious?
“Will religious and faith based institutions expose, report and disown those in their midst, their followers, and congregants, who have or are suspected of engaging in acts of corruption; duping and defrauding the State? Will religious and faith based institutions, question the sources of wealth of their members”?
The on-break university lecturer continued, “Maybe we will make more progress in the fight against corruption, if moral society moved beyond talk and complaints to exposing, reporting and disowning members profiting and benefiting from fraud and acts of corruption against the State to the detriment of the people!
According to him, “In truth, as a nation, the time has come for action by all components of our society in the fight against corruption, not just Government, NGOs and CSOs.”
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Accra’s comment, was seen as a prelude to the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) IMANI Ghana event, which was scheduled for Wednesday and yesterday at Christ the King Parish Hall–Accra near the seat of government, the Flagstaff House to lash at government.
The event was to be organized in association with another NPP group, “OccupyGhana”.
Speakers were the Most Revered Palmer-Buckle, Pastor Mensa-Otabil of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), a former Minister of Education and Information in the Kufuor government, Elizabeth Ohene and Prof. Kwesi Prempeh of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD).