President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the Catholic Church has been worthy partners of the State in development, assisting Ghana in varied fields of human endeavour, especially in education and health.
The Church has constructed some 5, 000 basic schools, 80 senior high and technical schools, 40 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools, 13 Colleges of Education, two university colleges, and one autonomous fully-fledged university.
In the area of health, the President indicated that 49 hospitals and 94 clinics had also been constructed, making the Catholic Church one of the leading partners in the development of the healthcare sector.
He was addressing the clergy and Diplomat Corps, at the National Day of the Holy See, hosted by the Apostolic Nunciature, Ghana, in Accra, an event marking the 10th anniversary of Pope Francis’ papacy.
President Nana Akufo-Addo said the nation was grateful to the Church for its commitment to assist the Government in promoting the welfare of the people.
He noted that the friendship between Ghana and the Holy See had been made visible through the elevation of some three Ghanaian Catholic priests to the position of Cardinal – Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the late Cardinal Richard Kuuia Baawobr, as well as the late Cardinal Peter Porekuu Dery.
The President said since the pontification of Pope Francis, he had been instrumental in spearheading the cause of peace, fairness, promotion of fundamental human rights and equality amongst nations.
Ghana, he said, shared in this vision, saying it was his hope that the Pope would one day visit the country to further strengthen the diplomatic ties between the country and the Holy See.
Pope Francis, on his pontification, issued a mission statement for his papacy that outlined his hope that the Catholic Church would become more merciful to the needy and less “confined and clinging to its own security.”
The 85-page document aimed at explaining his hope to reform the church into a more missionary organisation that “gets its hands dirty” for the sake of the poor and oppressed in a world that prizes profit over people.
“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote.