Catholics urged to halt vices among youth

By
Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA

Bolgatanga, Sept. 25, GNA – Mr Kenneth
Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of
Telecommunications has called on the laity in the Roman Catholic Church to
effectively play their roles to curb social vices among the youth in the
church.

He observed that the laity, represented more
than 95 percent of the membership of the church, and it was “the responsibility
of the church to curb social vices is more on me and you than my Lord Bishop. I
must lay the cards bare, right at the onset that the laity has not done too
well when it comes to supporting the call to evangelize and to help curb these
social vices”

He said the laity had largely confined their
duty to the clergy, and reminded them that “the command to save souls as
established in Acts 1:8 is to all and sundry.” adding that, “the world has come
to accept that as the Great Commission; which is the last of Christ’s commands
before His Ascension.”

Mr Ashigbey, who is an Engineer and former
Managing Director of Graphic Communications, made the call when he spoke on the
theme: “The role of the Church and the family in curbing social vices among the
Youth of Today,” at the Third Biennial Diocesan Laity Congress of the
Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese held in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional
capital.

The CEO said the Church had fundamental roles
to play in ensuring that it helped to prevent and check social vices among the
youth in several ways including evangelism and pastoral ministries, and
emphasized that “the Church should strive to minimize or eliminate the effects
of the causes of social vices.”

Mr Ashigbey who cited Cardinal William J.
Levada in his presentation to the International Theological-Pastoral Congress
on the Family in which the Cardinal stated: “I hope to show that the Catechism
itself, and in new way the just-published new Compendium of the Catechism,
should be an indispensable piece of furniture in the home of each Catholic
family, in order to fulfil the mission it has in God’s plan as the domestic
church.”

The CEO added that from the moment of
pre-infant baptism instruction till about five years into marriage, the Church
should have in place systematic programmes which would gradually turn children
into matured disciples of Christ.

These programmes, he said should focus on the
family as the domestic church, and they should aim at making parents “apostles
among disciples,” and that “such an approach when properly implemented might
help to minimize the occurrences of broken homes.

Most Reverend Bishop Alfred Agyenta, Bishop of
the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese and President of the Diocesan Laity Council,
said the church and the family were closely linked that they could not be
separated without causing harm to the nature of the church, and noted that the
church was a “communion of families” while the family was “a domestic church”
where the Christian faith lived concretely.

Touching on the roles of the church and family
in the welfare of the youth, Bishop Agyenta said the church, as an institution,
must provide space for the youth in their lives and activities and must make
conscious effort to provide for the welfare of the youth.

Most Revered Agyenta who charged the church to
allocate resources to the youth, explained that “young people are expensive not
because they are spendthrifts, but because they are a form of investment,” and
called on parish managers to yearly include the youth in budgets allocation.

On family, the Bishop said “A solid Christian
family has what it takes to sanitize habits, vices, attitudes that are brought
home from the public square by its young ones, while a lousy one is a breeding
ground and laboratory for experimentation for these social vices,” and urged
the gathering to build strong Christian families animated by Christian culture.

Mr Irenious Angso Kuulanang the Diocesan Laity
Chairman, said the occasion offered them the opportunity to renew contacts and
discuss problems of mutual interests with delegates from member perishes and
diocesan societies, and called on them to avoid divisions and factionalisms in
the church, insisting that “Christ is one.”

He said the Catholic Church was universal and
apostolic, “our lives as Christians should be governed and controlled by love.

GNA

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