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Catholic priest turned judge to cease clerical duties – Catholic Church



A catholic priest who has been appointed as Justice of the High Court will no more perform his priestly duties in public, the Catholic Church has explained.

The Catholic Church has told state-owned Daily Graphic in an interview that Rev Fr Joseph Owusu-Agyemang can only celebrate sacraments privately.

Chancellor of the Kumasi Archdiocese of the Church, Rev. Fr. Peter Sarpong, told the newspaper that apart from political appointments, the church did not stop its priests from serving offices, including serving as lecturers, to the security doctors, among others.

Rev. Fr Joseph Owusu-Agyemang, a Catholic priest incardinated into the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi, was sworn in as a Justice of the High Court by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, becoming the first Catholic Priest in Ghana to assume the position of a Justice of the High Court.

Concerns have been raised as to whether the Priest-Judge can perform a dual role.

However, explaining the law which allowed Justice Owusu-Agyemang to accept the appointment, the Chancellor of the Kumasi Archdiocese said the church’s law was epitomised by the last code that: “Salvation of souls is the supreme law of the church.”

He said such appointments were only allowed by the Catholic Church provided that a Diocesan Bishop had judged that it contributed to their spiritual growth under the Canon Law.

The Canon Law of the Catholic Church is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities of the Catholic Church to regulate its external organisation and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics towards the mission of the church.

Rev. Fr Sarpong urged Ghanaians to pray for the Priest-Judge to make a difference and be an evangelist in the Judiciary.

Justice Owusu Agyemang was among 16 individuals who were sworn in as justices of the High Court by President Akufo-Addo.