The Clergy in a photograph
A renowned Catholic priest, Rev. Monsignor Prof Stephen Ntim, has defended the clerical celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church, insisting that contrary to negative public perception, celibacy promotes resilience, inner peace and satisfaction.
Rev Prof Ntim, who is also the Dean of the Education Faculty of the Catholic University College of Ghana, Fiapre, said the sex scandals and paedophilia in Europe and United States of America were attributable to childhood dysfunction.
“Childhood sexual abuse places people at high risk of later adult psychological problems,” he noted, and added that in Ghana, many of the Catholic priests who struggle with themselves or Bishops because of sexual impropriety could have personality problems.
Addressing the bi-annual meeting of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NUGDPA) in Kumasi yesterday, Msgr. Prof Ntim, asserted that the onus lies on all associations to help the various diocesan vocation offices to rigorously screen candidates who present themselves for the priesthood.
“Most of the perceived problems in priesthood could be attributed to childhood baggage from the families,” he argued.
According to him, owing to the fact that celibacy ensures priests’ inner happiness and joy, the Catholic Church and diocesan associations also need to intensify efforts at assisting priests to lead lives of celibacy with positive integrity and peace.
For the renowned Catholic priest, priests would be happy in the country if they view celibacy as a personal gift from God.
Rev. Prof Ntim admitted that Catholic priests face challenges that could be overwhelming at times, and that it would be a cliché to make the statement that the Catholic priesthood was challenging.
President of NUGDPA, Very Rev Dr Francis Appiah-Kubi, on his part, said the Catholic priesthood is an effective instrument that makes Christ present in the community.
The NUGDPA President disclosed that a priest must serve in God’s name and be concerned about the liberation of people from social, personal and environmental ills.
Rev Dr Appiah-Kubi intimated that priests propagate the Good News of Christ.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi