Ghana’s Catholic Bishops hit the streets to protest….against condoms…..

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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference hit the streets of Accra, after a two-day international Pro-life conference to protest against artificial means of birth control such as the use of condoms, abortion, sterilization and vasectomies.

Over 1000 participants including professional men and women in the fields of medicine, nursing, science, law, politics, academia and the media joined the float to fight against the Culture of Death through the teaching and promotion of the Gospel of life.

Excerpts of the placards read, “Every life is created in the image of God, protect it!,” “Abortion is a sin, stop it!” “Life starts from the womb, protect it!,” sex is for married couples only,” “protect the unborn child,” “eternal values-life and faith,” abortion is evil, stop it!,” don’t kill our future generation,” “not ready to be a mother? No sex,” international organizations stop promoting abortion in Ghana, “African governments stop promoting the culture of death.”

The Catholic Priesthood strongly held that such mechanisms promote the culture of death that has come to Africa in the form of population control measures imposed on us by multi-national organizations.

According to them, it is against the moral teachings of the scriptures and therefore, anything that hinders procreation must be disregarded.

The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the priests, religious bodies and laity of the Catholic Church in Accra ended a two-day International Pro-life Conference in Accra from 7th to 8th August under the theme, “Protecting Life and Family Values in the Continuing Culture of Death.”

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Speakers, leaders, advocates, activists, researchers from Europe, America and Arica where brought together to discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to the issues of the dignity and sanctity of human life and the defence of marriage and family.

A communiqué issued at the end of the tow-day conference declared that the family is a cradle where life is welcomed, nurtured and protected.

Thus, every family, with marriage at its core, must create a conducive environment where the inestimable value of life is emphasized and upheld.

It noted that sacramental marriage is instituted by God as a permanent and indissoluble union between one man and one woman; open to live and love.

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Thus, other forms of unions such as homosexual unions and adulterous unions are inimical to the mind of the Creator-they undermine the integrity of the human being and the family and as such should never be promoted or supported in our society.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in a resolution, will continue to resist the persistent and pernicious attempts to impose population control on Africa by wealthy philanthropists, donor nations and international organizations who are pursuing this agenda subtly under the platform of sexual and reproductive and health rights.

The Ghana Catholic Bishops have resolve to work with government, other faith-based organizations and the civil society groups as well as the media to promote and sustain the importance of faith and family in human development, public education and in the social order.

By Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor, jarfemma@gmail.com

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Allow us to dignify humanity

Please take the clip below as an allegory, Mother Abigail symbolises the forces of good, ‘The Walking Dude’ the forces of evil and the global multi-national corporations devouring & polluting the planet, and as for the well fed rats who roll with ‘The Walking Dude’ ? Well I think that speaks for itself.

But as usual I’m straying off the point, this post is mean’t to be focused on the varied reactions to the Pope’s pending encyclical. Never before, church leaders say, has a papal encyclical been anticipated so eagerly by so many. With Pope Francis expected to make the case that climate change, unchecked development and over-consumption are exacerbating the suffering of the poor, advocates for the environment and the poor are thrilled.

Intervention by Pope Francis set to transform climate change debate

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Pope Francis will call for an ethical and economic revolution to prevent catastrophic climate change and growing inequality in a letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Thursday. He’s not pro a Soylent Green world either, this is a good sign (can ya dig that happy clappy? Please see Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ for further reference please see also my favourite character from that post apocalyptic opus ‘Mother Abigail’) but I digress….

In an unprecedented encyclical on the subject of the environment, the pontiff is expected to argue that humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources has crossed the Earth’s natural boundaries, and that the world faces ruin without a revolution in hearts and minds. The much-anticipated message, which will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops, will be published online in five languages on Thursday and is expected to be the most radical statement yet from the outspoken pontiff.

However, it is certain to anger sections of Republican opinion in America by endorsing the warnings of climate scientists and admonishing rich elites, say cardinals and scientists who have advised the Vatican.

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Francis’s radicalism is attracting resistance from Vatican conservatives and in rightwing church circles, particularly in the US – where Catholic climate sceptics also include John Boehner, Republican leader of the House of Representatives, and Rick Santorum, a Republican presidential candidate.

Earlier this year Stephen Moore, a Catholic economist, called the pope a “complete disaster”, saying he was part of “a radical green movement that is at its core anti-Christian, anti-people and anti-progress”.

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Moore was backed this month by scientists and engineers from the powerful evangelical Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, who have written an open letter to Francis. “Today many prominent voices call humanity a scourge on our planet, saying that man is the problem, not the solution. Such attitudes too often contaminate their assessment of man’s effects on nature,” it says.

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But the encyclical will be well received in developing countries, where most Catholics live. “Francis has always put the poor at the centre of everything he has said. The developing countries will hear their voice in the encyclical,” said Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at the Catholic development agency, Cafod. “I expect it to challenge the way we think. The message that we cannot just treat the Earth as a tool for exploitation will be a message that many will not want to hear.”

The pope is “aiming at a change of heart. What will save us is not technology or science. What will save us is the ethical transformation of our society,” said Carmelite Father Eduardo Agosta Scarel, a climate scientist who teaches at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires.

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Earlier popes, including Benedict XVI and John Paul II, addressed environmental issues and “creation”, but neither mentioned climate change or devoted an entire encyclical to the links between poverty, economics and ecological destruction.

Polar Bear by Carla Lombardo Ehrlich

(Excerpts taken from ‘The Guardian’ )

Ghanaian Vatican official calls for moral awakening on global warming

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Increasing use of fossil fuels is disrupting Earth on an “almost unfathomable scale”, a top Vatican official has said, warning that a “full conversion” of hearts and minds is needed if global warming is to be conquered.

The statement by Cardinal Peter Turkson, Pope Francis’s point man for peace and justice issues, was made at a Vatican summit on Tuesday, which focused on climate change and poverty. His call for a moral awakening of politicians and people of faith is a likely precursor to the highly anticipated encyclical on the environment, which was drafted by Turkson and which Pope Francis is expected to release in June.

“In our recklessness, we are traversing some of the planet’s most fundamental natural boundaries,” warned Turkson. “And the lesson from the Garden of Eden still rings true today: pride, hubris, self-centredness are always perilous, indeed destructive. The very technology that has brought great reward is now poised to bring great ruin.”

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general who delivered the keynote address at the summit, said he believed the pope’s encyclical – coupled with the pontiff’s planned speeches before the UN general assembly and a joint session of the US Congress – would have a profound impact on climate change negotiations.

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“[The encyclical] will convey to the world that protecting our environment is an urgent moral imperative and a sacred duty for all people of faith and people of conscience,” Ban said. While he declined to comment on any details of the encyclical following his morning meeting with the Argentinean pontiff – the document has already been written and is being translated – he said he was counting on the pope’s “moral voice and moral leadership” to help accelerate talks.

Pope Francis’s September address will be the first time any pope has spoken before a special session of the general assembly.

Both Turkson and Ban emphasised that scientists and people of faith were united in their call for action.

“Science and religion are not at odds on climate change. Indeed, they are fully aligned. Together, we must clearly communicate that the science of climate change is deep, sound and not in doubt,” Ban said.

Turkson called on leaders of all faiths to be good role models. “Think of the positive message it would send for churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples all over the world to become carbon neutral,” he said. “At a time like this, the world is looking to faith leaders for guidance. This is why Pope Francis has chosen to issue an encyclical on protecting the environment at this unique moment in time.”

The Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity meeting has brought about a rare meeting of minds between scientists and religious officials on climate change, even if they frame their arguments in different ways.

Teresa Berger, a professor at the Yale Divinity School, said she believed the encyclical would have an overarching theological vision – one of “a God-sustained universe, anchored in a theology of creation as articulated in the biblical witness. And based on this, Pope Francis will probably not mince words, but note as evil, for example, the sin of exploiting the Earth.”

Pope Francis has already said he believes global warming is mostly manmade and that a Christian who does not protect God’s creation “is a Christian who does not care about the work of God”. He has also linked environmental exploitation to social and economic inequality, saying: “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.”

Activists hope the summit and the encyclical will influence the next round of international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which will take place in Paris in November. The pope, whose foray into diplomacy helped spur negotiations between the US and Cuba, is expected to address the topic in a speech before the UN in New York in September.

Some conservatives in the US, where the Republican party has fiercely resisted attempts to regulate greenhouse gases and questioned the scientific consensus on global warming, have criticised the pope for getting involved in the issue.

“Francis sullies his office by using demagogic formulations to bully the populace into reflexive climate action with no more substantive guide than theologised propaganda,” Maureen Mullarkey wrote in First Things, a conservative journal.

Another conservative group, the Heartland Institute, which seeks to discredit established science on global warming, held its own meeting in Rome on Monday– and will hold a second on Tuesday – in which officials derided the pope for taking on the issue.

“You demean the office that you hold and you demean the church whom it is your sworn duty to protect and defend and advance,” said Lord Christopher Monckton, a prominent climate sceptic and former policy adviser to the former British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. Monckton’s opinions have beenrefuted by scientists, who have called his statements “very misleading” and “profoundly wrong”.

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(The Guardian 28 April 2015)