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24.07.2003 General News

Churches must unite to fight social vices - Archbishop

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Accra, July 24, GNA - The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Right Reverend Rowan Douglas Williams on Thursday called on Christian churches to unite and fight against social vices and other unhealthy practices that demoralized and created unhealthy environment for children. He said the church must not lose its focus of creating a safe and conducive atmosphere of peace and unity among societies that directly had much effect on children.

The Archbishop, who was addressing church leaders, including delegates of the Presbyterian, Catholic, Methodist, Anglican and the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, stressed the need for the church to be a safety place for children and those in need.

Speaking on the theme: "The Role of the Church in the New Millennium", Archbishop Williams appealed to churches to bear each others' burden, adding "the joy of Christianity rests on sharing each others pain, joy and triumph".

He said the church had a major role to play in conflicts management on the African Continent and " your role as peacemakers would go a long way to bring about reconciliation among warring factions, which is the essence of Christianity ".

Archbishop Williams praised Ghana for maintaining a peaceful atmosphere, but expressed regret that her neighbours continued to be at each other's throat.

He said; "the need for peace in the Sub-Region is very essential for the spiritual as well as the socio-economic development of the area". The Right Reverend Dr Sam Prempeh, Moderator, Presbyterian Church, Ghana said the visit of the Archbishop was an encouragement for the churches in Ghana and would help strengthen their relationship with each other.

Rev Dr Samuel Asante-Antwi, Presiding Bishop, Methodist Church, Ghana, condemned the act of homosexuality among the clergy, which cast a slur on Christianity.

"Africa will not accept such acts in the church", he said. He said the "Church in Africa was moving forward and the need to set high standards of good morals must not be compromised".

Earlier, Archbishop Williams had called on the Acting Ga Mantse, Nii Adote Obour at his Palace and told him that the church would continue to play its social roles to help with Africa's development. He presented a Bible to the Chief as a symbol of unity. Nii Obour commended him for choosing to visit Ghana first after his ordination as Archbishop.

The Archbishop also visited the Anglican Church of Transfiguration at Haatso a suburb of Accra, where he inspected an exhibition of the church's project and programmes and unveiled a plague. He later visited the Anglican Retreat Centre at Ashalley Botwe in Accra where he planted two trees to commemorate his visit. He registered his appreciation for the warm reception he had so far enjoyed and urged Ghanaians to uphold their morals.

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