By Arnold Neliba
ACCRA, DECEMBER 1, 2020 (CISA)-“…watching or hearing Mass through the digital network cannot dispense anyone from the obligation to be part of the Eucharistic assembly,” the Ghana Conference of Catholic bishops has said, discouraging Catholics from following Mass on TV and other digital platforms, calling on those not bound by age or sickness to participate physically in Sunday Masses.
In a statement released November 29 signed by Most Rev. Philip Naameh, the President of GCBC, the conference observed that some faithful preferred following Eucharistic celebrations virtually despite the June 5 resumption of in-person liturgical celebrations.
“Virtual reality is no substitute for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist… There are no sacraments on the internet; and even the religious experiences possible there by the grace of God are insufficient apart from real life-world interaction with other persons of faith,” the bishops stressed.
The conference reminded faithful of the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays.
“Due to the significance of the day, watching or hearing Mass through the digital network cannot dispense anyone from the obligation to be part of the Eucharistic assembly. Active participation and sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ are the surest means for the Church to bond together as members of the same family, Church-Family of God,” they quoted Ecclesia in Africa, a book written and promulgated by the late Pope John Paul II to Catholics in the view of the Great Jubilee year of 2000.
The bishops’ conference urged faithful to continue adhering to health safety protocols as the country continues to fight Covid-19.
“We wish to appeal to our fellow citizens to uphold the highest and noblest of ethics and good conduct, and to observe religiously all the Covid-19 hygienic protocols, particularly in the festivities of the season,” said the bishops.
The bishops also appealed to Ghanaians to actively work for peace before, during and after the December 7 General Elections.
“While we repeat our confidence in the Electoral Commission to conduct free, fair and transparent elections, we equally urge them not to become complacent in carrying out this constitutional duty.”