Ghanaian theologians meet as bishops disagree in private with their Primate

The Primate of the Province of West Africa, the Most revd Justice Akrofi

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

Comments

  1. says

    Point of correction for the article. Ghana does not have a presiding bishop. Especially, since Ghana is part of the Church of the Province of West Africa.

    Please check facts before posting them. As for the rest of the article the less said about its sensationalism, the better it is.

    Bishop Badohu is the Bishop of Ho in the Volta region (this covers all churches that fall under that jurisdiction.

    Blessings and peace

  2. says

    Keep meeting together and praying together! So much can happen when the Holy Spirit can lead a GROUP! So much can happen when we meet, in Christ, face to face! Know that you all are being prayed for in New Brunswick, Canada!

  3. says

    This is piece is quite stale, However, as I am seeing it for the first time thanks to the gift of Link Sharing. I thought I should be the last to comment..

    Anglican bishops and archbishops disagreeing on issues of faith, life, ethics and sexuality is nothing new. What makes a whole world of difference is we employ the art of gracious disagreement! We always strive to debate without bitterness and rancour.
    The title/heading of this piece is misleading if not confusing. The Primate referred to is the spiritual and temporal leader of all Anglicans/Episcopalians in Senegal, Cape Verde Islands, Cameroun, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and even The Gambia. What then has a meeting of a handful of Ghanaians learned in Christian theology facilitated by ACO, got to do with members of the International House of Bishops of the Province of West Africa debating and disagreeing among themselves? I cannot see the link at all.
    As the longest serving bishop in the said House, let me assure all that not all of us who wear mitres and carry pastoral staff always agree on every matter. In fact we consider it healthy if we do not all agree.
    The Archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa(CPWA) attended the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Please correct this inaccurate statement. I can testify to this because while His Grace and I agreed on a number of issues, we DISAGREED on a few.
    The 38 Archbishops of our Communion are leaders of their Provinces but they, mote than anybody else know that they are not their Provinces!
    Pax vobiscum
    +Tilewa
    Bishop of The Gambia, Senegal and Cape Verde Islands

  4. Lord says

    Sir, please if i understand you well bishop badohu is of ho diocese so he shd be concern with ho. I think thats what is destroying the anglican communion. We are lacking a constitutionally centralised authority to regulate activities of anglican churches n their bishops cos their autonomy is doing more harm to the anglican than good.

  5. Lord says

    Rev bonney please if i understand you well bishop badohu is of ho diocese so he shd be concern with ho. I think thats what is destroying the anglican communion. We are lacking a constitutionally centralised authority to regulate activities of anglican churches n their bishops cos their autonomy is doing more harm to the anglican than good.
    @ Indaba- I want to know what this group even doing, when they were coming i learnt it was on issues of gays n lesbians in the church and becoming bishops, and some other issues. But when they came to my parish, infact it was a different issue.
    @ The diocese of Ho was given birth to some years now, but i wonder how many new parishes it has established and how it’s impoving the educational, health standards in the region.
    THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION NEEDS TO GET BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD N NOW!!

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