One Village Initiative (CC)
Accra (Agenzia Fides) - "The phenomenon of teenage and single parenthood, poor or irresponsible parenting, separate household and distant marriages that make couples live apart, and in some cases far away from each other, and relatives ease decisions regarding separation and /or divorce are all aspects of contemporary trends in the Ghanaian family today", says Archbishop Philip Naameh of Tamale, the President of Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), at the official opening of the ongoing annual plenary assembly that opened on November 13 in the capital of the Volta region, Ho.
The Bishops of Ghana are gathering to discuss pastoral care for families in their country, guided by the Post-Synodal apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia. The title of the meeting is "Integral Pastoral Care for the Family in the light of Amoris Laetitia".
Archbishop Naameh expressed worry that the Ghanaian family was experiencing emerging trends which were at variance with the ideal family image foreseen by the Church’s tradition of faith and morals.
In particular, the GCBC President laments the negative use of social media, and especially how this new media seems to rule the lives of the youth and middle class Ghanaians, who seem forced to organise their experiences according to the dictates of social media with all their not-so-positive trends.
On traditional marriage, Mgr. Naameh emphasized the issue of “bride price”, which was frequently taken out of its original traditional context, seems to be increasingly monetarised and exaggerated.
"The expense of marrying properly according to traditional rules has become, in some cases, quite burdensome for the average young man in Ghana seeking the hand of a woman in marriage", says Mgr. Naameh to Fides.
"There is also a general increase in the use of orthodox medicine and its attendant Assisted Reproductive Technologies in redressing fertility challenges among urban elite families", GCBC President says and adds that the Church is called upon to consider the moral dilemmas that Catholic couples face when they stand before the decision to accept or reject the use of such possibilities.
"I appreciate the aptness of the theme chosen by the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference for this Plenary Assembly, focusing on the integral Pastoral care of families which is indeed the goal of Pope Francis’ ground-breaking new document", said to Fides the Nuncio in Ghana, Archbishop Jean-Marie Speich. (DBO-LM) (Agenzia Fides, 20/11/2017)