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23.11.2007 General News

Let's draw common policies to benefit the people - Bishop


The Most Reverend Gregory Ebo Kpiebaya, the Catholic Archbishop of Tamale, has advised Catholic Churches in the country to draw up common policies that would benefit the people and bring more souls to the Church.

He said the Catholic doctrine was one but in some Catholic churches there were different policies that had created doubts in the minds of the congregation as to whether or not the Church was living up to expectation.

He said for instance that while some Catholic churches would baptise first-born babies of couples who had not married officially in the Church, others would not baptise them at all and stressed the need for common policies in the Catholic Church for the sake of the people.

Most Rev. Kpiebaya gave the advice at the opening of a three-day biennial plenary Assembly of the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province Pastoral Conference (TEPPCON) in Tamale.

The 12th Assembly, which was on the theme: "Domestic Violence Law and its impact on the family life", focused on the education of the participants on the Law and how the Church could help to make the law to receive the needed attention.

It also reviewed past achievements of TEPPCON and chartered a course to improve in areas that the Conference fell short during the year under review.

Archbishop Kpiebaya catalogued the activities and achievements of TEPPCON and gave the assurance that it would continue to embark on advocacy issues and other pertinent matters that would bring development into the society.

Mrs Agnes Chigabatia, Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, who educated participants on the Domestic Violence Law, called for concerted efforts to ensure that the Law was understood and accepted by all sectors of the society.

She said domestic violence was a serious human rights violation, which had not been given the needed attention over the years and stressed the importance of the Law in family life.

She, therefore, called on religious bodies to direct their sermons towards educating couples on the need to tolerate each other's views for the mutual benefit of all and to prevent a situation where children would become victims of divorce.

Mrs Chigabatia said the Law, if not properly implemented, would create many "broken homes" since when such human rights violations were reported or prosecuted majority of men were likely to divorce their wives.

She said for instance, that until recently, most men in parts of the North would not go to the kitchen to cook and it would only take a Divine intervention for a woman to ask the husband in a typical traditional home to prepare meals for the family and he would oblige.

Some of the participants commended the Catholic Church for the initiative to educate the public on topical issues and urged the Church to do more to improve family life.