AKATSI, Ghana — Launching 25th anniversary celebrations for the Diocese of Keta-Akatsi, Bishop Gabriel Akwasi Ababio Mante of Jasikan said he was worried how charismatic and Pentecostal movements are affecting Catholics in Ghana.
“For Catholics who remain Catholics and yet keep running after Jesus, from one to another crusade or fellowship or prayer camp, I am afraid their faith can only be described as a mirage,” he said June 10.
“We hope Catholics who have abandoned their faith and left the church to join these movements are following the dictates of their conscience,” the bishop said.
Bishop Gabriel Edoe Kumordji of Keta-Akatsi noted the anniversary was a celebration that would last more than a year, during which parishes would have spiritual and social activities. In November 2020, the diocese will host the plenary gathering of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
But Bishop Mante, guest speaker at the diocesan celebrations, said he was worried that some of the youth in Ghana are easily enticed by their non-Catholic friends to leave the Catholic Church. This often means young people leave their faith behind in their hometowns when they leave home, and many are leaving home because of unemployment.
He also cited the desire among some Catholics to practice the faith the way non-Catholics do.
“This is also the chasing of a mirage,” he said. These people “are crippling their own faith, and all I want to say to them is rise up and walk with the diocese in the promotion of the kingdom of God.”
Bishop Mante stressed that, sometimes, people who have left the church return home and want “to be acknowledged and recognized as Catholics, especially when they are in difficulty.” Sometimes Catholic priests are their only resource for assistance, he said. The bishop added that, if the family requests a Catholic burial for these people, priests will grant their wish.
He also cited the challenge of traditional religions, noting that some people claim to practice these religions as well as Catholicism. Such multiple allegiances impede the faith, he said.