General News of Tuesday, 3 March 2015
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has directed heads of all catholic-affiliated schools to “remain resolute” and continue with all religious practices and training associated with the catholic faith despite a government order for school heads to avoid imposing religious beliefs on students.
A statement signed by the President of the Conference, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu Tuesday said: “We wish to assure Heads of our Catholic Educational Institutions to remain resolute and not feel unduly intimidated by threat of sanctions”.
The directive comes on the back of a warning by President John Mahama that heads of schools found to be imposing religious practices on students of other religious faiths will be punished.
Below is the full statement:
PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE GHANA CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE ON RELIGIOUS PRACTICES IN MISSION SCHOOLS
We, the members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference have followed with grave concern the recent developments in our dear nation with respect to calls for unregulated religious practices in our schools.
We note, in particular, the unwarranted threats of sanction coming from Government circles.
Needless, we are stating that no citizen in Ghana should allow him/herself to be cowed down by any intimidation or threat of sanction from any individuals.
Assurance to School Heads
Consequently, we wish to assure Heads of our Catholic Educational Institutions to remain resolute and not feel unduly intimidated by threat of sanctions. We expect our Heads to continue to manage our schools in ways and practices that are in conformity with our Catholic identity and mission.
Meanwhile, we are open to initiating dialogue that will bring consensus, as early as possible, to resolve these issues amicably.
We join the Christian Council of Ghana in advocating dialogue on the issue at stake. We believe that the Ghana Peace Council has the capacity to deal with this issue in broad consultation with all stakeholders, especially, religious leaders who own and manage the mission schools. Until this is done, we wish to call on government and all other persons to refrain from issuing statements or making pronouncements which may not help in finding a peaceful solution to this issue.
Dialogue is the key for in reasoning with others through dialogue, we obtain justice and peace.
MOST REV. JOSEPH OSEI-BONSU BISHOP OF KONONGO-MAMPONG & PRESIDENT, GHANA CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERE