Feature Article of Sunday, 2 August 2015
Columnist: Sakzeesi, Camillus Maalneriba-Tia
President Kufour’s Invitation To The Clergy: In What Capacity Did Arch Bishop Palmer Buckle Participate?
In the past few days, commentary on the unprecedented meeting at the residence of former President Kuffour, attended by some notable personalities within the Christian community seems not to end anytime soon. These were Most Reverends; Charles Angela Palmer-Buckle, Emmanuel Martey and Pastor Dr. Mensah Otabil. The comments are controversial in nature, some in support of their participation in a partisan political initiative – others against, and it also dwells on the partisan understanding and leanings of the individual commentators.
The religious Ministers have been accused of being in bed with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who, as at now have not made any comment on the allegation which is usual of them. Some have even accused the former President of being selective when his office issued a statement explaining that the meeting was convened as part of measures being taken to arrest the ever worsening disunity in the party.
Reacting to the statement, members of the public asked why some other members of ministry and other religious faith were not invited. The statement from the office of the ex- President explained that those invited were seen as respected people who were leading flocks including many members of the NPP. So, the agitated minds within society ask – so we don’t have NPP members in Islam, the Perez Chapel, Royal House Chapel…?
On my part I have a very controversial question which revolves around my Catholic Bishop of the Arch Diorses of Accra who has assumed the title, Metropolitan Arch Bishop of Accra, Most Rev. Charles Angela Palmer-Buckle.
Most Rev. Emmanuel Martey is the Presiding Bishop of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and attended the meeting in that capacity. Pastor Mensah Otabil is the ‘Over Lord’ of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) which he established and has led it since.
Now, in what capacity was Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle in that meeting? I ask because the Catholic Bishops Conference, is the communion AUTHORITY which is presided over by an ELECTED President. As this piece is written, I know for a fact that the Metropolitan Arch Bishop of Accra is not its President. The current President is Most Rev. Osei Bonsu of the Arch Dioses of Kumasi. This being the case it is only fair to find out from the Catholic Bishops Conference whether they granted him the order to represent it at that inglorious meeting.
As a baptized and confirmed Catholic, I feel very concerned because the name of the Church must not be drugged into the volatile partisan politics the country finds herself. The Catholic Bishops Conference should tell the faithful if it did not bless the Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle’s presence at that meeting what it is doing to correct the political dent his involvement in that meeting carries
If he went there in his individual interest and not that of the Church he ought to come out public and let us understand it as such. The Church must not be short-changed in the name of PARTISAN POLITICS.
Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi