GHANA: Archbishop Warns Faithful Against Expressing Political Affiliations in Church

KONONGO-MAMPONG DECEMBER 16, 2016 (CISA)-Bishop Osei-Bonsu of the Catholic Archdiocese of Konongo-Mampong has called on the faithful not to extend celebrations of the victory by New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the polls to the churches.

“In as much as it is natural for members of a political party to celebrate a political victory, as it is their right to do so. Such celebrations cannot and should not take place in our churches,” said bishop Bonsu in a statement dated December 14.

He noted that the Church as institution is, “Officially non-partisan,” adding that, “The church is a home to people from all political parties and nothing should be done to give the impression that it is home to only some of the faithful.”

Bishop Osei-Bonsu was reacting to reports that hundreds of Christians had flooded churches on Sunday December 10 wearing clothes bearing political party symbols and carrying other paraphernalia, including caps, handkerchiefs and scarves to celebrate the election victory of Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the President-elect.

He said there were also reports of some Catholics praying the Prayer of the Faithful along partisan political lines.

“This is not part of the Catholic tradition. Everybody should feel at home in church, wherever they are,” said Bishop Bonsu.

He however urged those intending to celebrate the victory of their candidates to do so in their homes or town.

“If you want to celebrate the victory of your party, you can do so in your homes or town, but not in the church. You can wear your party clothes and other paraphernalia in your homes and in town, but not in church,” he stated.

Even such celebrations, he said, should be done in a non-provocative manner.

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