Monsignor Douglas Peters, Cathedral Administrator of the Saint Peter's Minor Basilica in Kumasi, has described the worship of the saints for selfish desires without working for it as occultism.
He said the current practise of the youth worshipping saints with the aid of candles, water and mirror for academic success without working hard to achieve success was misconstrued and un-Catholic. The Rev Monsignor Peters said the practice had the tendency to lead the youth to mental sickness and to the extent of entering into demonic blood covenants that becomes difficult to reverse. "Saints are not there to make one rich or successful overnight. The youth must therefore stop this practice before it is too late," he told the GNA in an interview.
He said theologian saints were eminent Christians or martyrs who refused to renounce their Christian faith and faced persecution and death or lived holy lifestyles, received honour on the day of ascending to heaven for veneration and imitation.
Rev Monsignor Peters said such saints and martyrs included the apostles Peter and Paul who were executed for their faith and Jesus Christ known as the "Christian per excellence". Saints, he said, had the power to intercede on behalf of the living Christian, help acquire strong faith and seek for forgiveness and not for richness or success overnight for selfish reasons. Rev Monsignor Peters said the current trend of people using saints for occultism was not a new occurrence as it happened in the fourth century.
The Cathedral Administrator explained that the benefits Christians can derive from saints had been confused with the archaic practices and asked the youth not to be led astray. He called for further education of the youth by Catholic faithful on the symbolic position of saints and advised them to accompany their prayers with hard work in order to benefit from the intercession of the saints.