Politicians in Ghana Must See Politics as Sacred Ministry – Catholic Priest
Ahead of Ghana’s upcoming December 7 elections, a Priest of the Catholic Church has reminded politicians and their political parties of their mandate to ensure that politics is seen as a game that is sacred and revered by all devoid of insults.
“Our politicians should not understand politics as a game where morality is not a fashionable requirement,” said Fr. Charles Boampong Sarfo Jnr, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Catholic Secretariat, adding that “Politics is a sacred ministry since it is a participation in the action of God.”
In an interview with Newswatchgh.com recently, he said that “politics is an imitation of divine activity, a response to the hazardous call to serve humanity,” and noted that “a politician is a minister who serves the interest of the people by following the patterns of God.”
Commenting on the recent gathering of Religious Leaders for the introduction of the running mate of Ghana’s biggest opposition party to Religious Leaders in Accra of which he represented the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Fr. Sarfo stated that “Consequently, politics is not and can never be value-neutral.”
“It implies that there should be no chasm between politics and morality,” he pointed out, and noted that “Our country cannot be built on foundations of moral indifference.”
He, therefore, urged Politicians to be circumspect in their campaign promises to the public, saying that “They must not lie and deceive the citizens with lofty promises that they cannot implement to make their way into office.”
He called on pastors and ministers of God to desist from giving prophecy and predicting election results, emphatically stating that “It is to be said that a true prophet speaks in God’s name and with His authority. He does not preach his own idea and does not work for a clique, for a party or a school but for the glory of God.”
“Knowing the socio-political-economic situation of our people, we need to be critics of the patterns of relationship that block the growth and development of all, he states, saying that “Our vocation as ministers and pastors is to the voice of the voiceless.”
“We must not compromise our spiritual and moral values by the acceptance of gratifications but keep on reminding our politicians to fulfill their promises,” he noted.
Offering prayer at the August 12 introduction ceremony, Fr. Sarfo who represented the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, implored the Lord “to bless our country (Ghana) with peace, fill us always with your word and what we wish always to be accomplished.”
“We commit former President John Dramani Mahama and his Running Mate into your hands,” he prayed, asking the Lord to “make a way for them where there seems to be no way.”
The ceremony held at the Assemblies of God Headquarters to introduce the first woman vice-presidential nominee of a major political party in Ghana, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang to the Religious Leaders, the Chairman of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, called on political leaders “to make all necessary efforts in ensuring that the nation’s upcoming December elections are devoid of insults while they carry out decent messages.”
Speaking on behalf of the Religious Leaders, he urged the political parties to engage in campaign messages based on facts and decency, saying that “for Ghana as a sovereign nation to live in a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the general election, “it is prudent for political parties to avoid distortions in their campaign messages.”
Touching on false prophesies in regards to elections by some Religious Leaders, he was emphatic in describing them as “wrong and fake,” pointing out that “such prophecies only end up creating confusion in the country.”
He, therefore, cautioned pastors of faith in the West African country against such acts, appealing to them to be independent in order to be easily approached by to all political leaders.
“As we are getting closer to elections my fellow politicians and pastors, there has been a practice of people prophesying about elections. I want to say in no uncertain terms that these things are wrong, fake and false,”; he stressed.
He implored Men of God who call themselves “Prophets” to rather pray for presidential candidates who are availing themselves to contest the December 7 elections and warned politicians against resting their hopes on these predictions and stated that “some of these prophets tend to use this as a means of exploitation.”
Saying that elections were necessary to determine leaders, he reminded his colleague pastors that “God has given the power to choose a leader through elections, campaigns and the ballot box. If it would be through prophecies, there would not be a need for elections.”
Addressing the Religious Leaders, former Ghanaian President Mahama who is contesting the upcoming elections, commended the Religious Leaders for their continuous effort in ensuring development in the country.
“Over 71% of our 30 million-plus population is Christian and this for me underscores the huge responsibility you have as leaders in terms of molding morally sound and ethically driven citizens as well as providing spiritual guidance, teachings and prayers,” he told the Religious Leaders.
According to him, “between March and July when Churches were unfortunately closed due to COVID-19 pandemic, the absence of the Church in the lives of the population has been most felt,” he said