30.03.2005 General News

Bishop Palmer-Buckle made Archbishop of Accra

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Accra, March 30, GNA - The Catholic Church on Wednesday appointed Bishop Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra. Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop George Kocherry made the announcement at a press conference in Accra. The news was simultaneously announced in Rome. Bishop Palmer-Buckle, who was in-charge of the Koforidua Diocese, succeeds Archbishop Dominic Andoh, who had reached the canonical age of 75.

According to the ordinance of the Catholic Church, a Bishop resigns from active pastoral obligations at the age of 75. Bishop Palmer-Buckle would, however, assume oversight responsibility of the Koforidua Diocese until a new Bishop is appointed. The selection of Bishop Palmer-Buckle met opposition from a section of the Church in the GaDangbe District, who claimed they did not approve of the nomination because he was not a native of Ga.

Reacting to the assertion, the Apostolic Nuncio described the opposition as "unfortunate" and said the Catholic Church did not promote tribalism or thrived on ethnic sentiments. "The interest of the Church is to promote religious and spiritual values and ensure the transformation of lives."

He said: "The whole idea is confusing since (his) father is a Ga and he eloquently speaks all the major Ghanaian languages." Nuncio Kocherry said no single person appointed officers for the Catholic Church adding this was the sole responsibility of Rome. He said his duty was to collate views and suggestions from the over 90 Bishops and individuals secretly in accordance Act 377 of the Ghana Law of the Church and the outcome forwarded to Rome for perusal and approval.

Archbishop Domonic Andoh was ordained priest in 1957 and served the Accra Diocese for 34 years. Speaking to newsmen, Archbishop Andoh said he had not regretted a single moment of being a priest adding, "if there is reincarnation I will still remain a priest". He expressed optimism that his successor would continue with the good works he had begun by making inroads into untapped territories. Archbishop Andoh urged clergymen to continue with their pastoral calling even in the face of all challenges saying, "human suffering and opposition should not deter you from fulfilling your evangelistic work. "We need to depend heavily on the grace of God to make our calling a fulfilled one worthy of emulation"

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