Changing Attitude has learnt that a number of Ghanaian bishops have revealed in personal conversations that they disagree with the stance being taken by the Primate of West Africa, The Most Revd Justice Acrofi, who has aligned himself with the Global South Primates and refused to attend the Lambeth Conference in 2008. Some have expressed their strong disagreement with his stance directly to the Archbishop.
His antipathy to the well-being of the Anglican Communion and his refusal to engage with the Instruments of Communion was countered by ten theologians who met at the latest Continuing Indaba ‘hub’ meeting on March 4-5 in Ghana. The Anglican Communion Office reports that they considered how Ghanaian culture and theology could shape the Continuing Indaba initiative taking place across the Anglican Communion.
Ghanaian bishop Festus Yeboah-Asuamah told the meeting that while the challenges facing the Communion were “complex”, and that the answers may yet be “far away” there was hope in unity. Bishop Festus said, “There is hope! We should try as much as possible to keep the Anglican Communion together – we are one family.”
The Ven Paul Katampu reflected on the peace efforts in the north of Ghana that helped to prevent civil war there. The process concentrated on grassroots peace-building before addressing issues directly.
Mrs Stella Ansah, the leader of the Alpha groups in Accra diocese , said “Whatever we do here we should bring it down to earth so the lay at the local level can be helped in the tensions that exist in many parishes in our dioceses.”
The group, which comprised both lay and ordained men and women, considered how the Scriptures and Christian tradition might resonate with Ghanaian cultural perspectives to assist the Anglican Communion. In particular they discussed the place of the wisdom of the ‘Old Lady’ in Ghanaian culture. The Old Lady is understood as collective wisdom concerned for finding an end to otherwise endless dialogue by paying attention to the unity of the whole community. The theologians also reflected on the significance of the ‘linguist,’ the ‘gong gong’ or ‘proclaimer’, and the ‘talking drum’ in discovering identity and maintaining unity in diverse communities.
Dr Victor Atta-Baffoe, Dean of St Nicholas Seminary in Ghana’s Cape Coast, who facilitated the group, said they hope, God willing to meet again from 4th to 5th May, 2011 to engage in further discussion and reflection.
The hub was convened by Bishop Matthias Medadues-Badohu – Presiding Bishop of Ghana – and resourced by Canon Phil Groves of the Anglican Communion Office.
The theologians have committed themselves to write essays and articles emerging from their discussions for future publication.
- The participants were:
- Mr. Vincent Assanful, Lecturer in African Traditional Religion and Comparative Religion, St. Nicholas Seminary – Cape Coast;
- Rt. Rev. Dr. Festus Yeboah-Asuamah, Bishop of Sunyani
- Ven. Paul Shaibu Katampu, Lecturer in Pastoral Theology, St. Nicholas Seminary – Cape Coast
- Mrs. Stella Ansah, Lay person, Diocese of Accra
- Mrs. Nana Serwah Ayibotele, Lay person, Diocese of Accra
- Rev. Canon Dr. Harry F. Orland-Mensah, Director, Diocesan Ministerial Training School, Diocese of Accra
- Mr. Kojo Okyere, Lecturer in Old Testament Studies, St. Nicholas Seminary – Cape Coast
- Rt. Rev. Matthias K. Medadues-Badohu, Bishop of Ho/Presiding Bishop of Ghana
- Very Rev. Simon Kofi Ablorh, Rural Dean of Agbozume Deanery, Diocese of Ho