Most Reverend Philip Naameh, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) and Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale, has bemoaned the drop in membership of the Catholic faith by 3 percent as recorded by the 2020 Population and Housing Census.
According to him, the members have moved into the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches.
Most Reverend Naameh, therefore, charged the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall, Catholic fraternal society to assume the role of catechists in passing on the faith to members.
The Archbishop also noted that the census produced an interesting context and figures with the percentage of Christians in the country which is still at seventy-one percent, among others.
“I would like to draw your attention to the just-ended population Census. If you look at the figures and analysis in some context, it’s very interesting.
“The number of the Christian population has remained the same at 71% but the Catholic Church has lost by 3% and we (Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference) want to believe that this 3% has run to the Pentecostal Churches and not Paganism nor Islam,” Archbishop Naameh said during the launch of the 50th Anniversary (Golden Jubilee) of the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall in the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province (TEP) at the Our Lady of Annunciation Cathedral in the Northern Region.
He noted the percentage of the population that subscribes to Islam has also increased, “but theirs is due to natural figures because, for every child a Catholic has, his counterpart in the Islam faith has three to four children.”
“Because for them, it’s a missionary substitute to have as many Muslims as possible and that’s also their faith. We have to respect it.
“Because for many other quarters, the Catholic Church seems to ride better with Muslims than the other Christian denominations, especially on matters of ethical considerations and the respect for Women and Children,” Archbishop Philip Naameh insisted.
He said there are some measures put in place to curtail further drop in the population of the church which includes intensifying the church’s presence in Chaplains and non-Catholic schools so that Catholic Children who go there will not be unnecessarily lured to go to Pentecostal and Charismatic churches or what is described as ‘one-man’ churches.
Reverend Philip Naameh further urged members of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall to go into the catechism of the church, adding, “the first thing that comes to mind is the assumption of roles that our catechists play. You (the Knights and Ladies of Marshall) have done very well, but you are not doing catechism.
“At the University of Cape Coast, you will get a Professor who has been teaching catechism. He knows the faith and he impacts it.”
“I think it’s the role that every Bishop will be happy with if the Knights will enter and play the roles of catechists. Some of our People leaving and going into some of these Pentecostal churches is also because they don’t know the faith of the Catholic church.
“But the spiritual formation that you continue to impact on Brothers and Sisters, helps you to mature and a mature faith sees nothing more than passing on the faith to others. And I think with your help, we can connect together in a good way to prevent all these things from happening”, Archbishop Philip Naameh stressed.