GHANA: Harness Technology as Pastoral Tool, Archbishop Naameh Urges

By Odiwuor Opiyo

WA, NOVEMBER 12, 2O21. (CISA) –The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) Most Rev Philip Naameh on November 8, urged the church at all levels to, “vigorously embrace the use of traditional and social media as a vehicle for evangelization.”

In his Keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Plenary Assembly at the St Andrew Cathedral in Wa, Archbishop Naameh pointed out that, “Covid-19 has presented the Church in Ghana with an excellent opportunity to harness this technology as an effective pastoral tool for reaching out to her faithful.”

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19 with its attendant restrictions, many Churches have had to turn to technology to fill the void that was created. In Ghana, unfortunately, the Church was caught wrong-footed, not having a television or radio station of its own. Neither did it have a coordinated strategy for engagement on social media,” he poised.

He stated further, that some parishes had adopted an online presence through which they were able to continue catechism classes as well as engage children.

“The same has been used for teachings, retreats, prayer meetings and conferences. The advantage has been the opportunity to reach church members, especially the sick and the elderly,” the archbishop said.

The prelate strongly imposed that physical distance should not at all be a hindrance ‘to participation in the life of the parish community’ saying, “the need for this service has thus become more than urgent. For many young people accessing religious content through on-line internet streaming services has become the preference.”

Archbishop Naameh recommended that, “a deliberate and organized programme be initiated to educate young people on the proper use of the internet and social media, emphasizing its opportunities and exposing its dangers.”

This, on the backdrop of increased use of virtual platforms and social media for cyber-crime including identity fraud, estate fraud, non-delivery of merchandise, fake online investment schemes, romance scams, sextortion, revenge porn and prostitution.