The Bishops’ Conference of Ghana has issued a powerful statement upholding the natural moral law and the teaching of the Catholic Church on matters relating to the defence of human life, marriage and the family. The statement was issued following a pro-life conference in Accra, which was organised by the Bishops’ Conference. The majority of Ghana’s bishops were in attendance. Voice of the Family’s co-founder John Smeaton was among the speakers who addressed the conference.
In response to the increasing violation of the sanctity and dignity of human life and the continuing culture of death in Ghana and around the world, and in line with Pope Francis’ call for the need to sustain and support marriage and family life, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the priests, religious and laity of the Catholic Church in Ghana, convened a two-day International Pro-Life Conference in Accra, from August 7 to 8, 2015, under the theme, “Protecting Life and Family Values in the Continuing Culture of Death.”
The Conference brought together participants from every corner of Ghana who discussed a wide range of topics pertaining to the issues of the dignity and sanctity of human life and the defence of marriage and family, presented by reputable Pro-life and Pro-family speakers, leaders, advocates, activists and researchers from Europe, America and Africa.
At the end of this Conference and basing ourselves on the discussions and presentations made at the Conference, we hereby declare that:
1. Every human being is created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Human life is God’s gift and this life begins at conception. Thus, every nation, every institution, every man and woman must respect, protect and uphold the dignity and sanctity of every human life from the moment of conception until its natural end.
2. Sacramental marriage is instituted by God as a permanent and indissoluble union between one man and one woman; open to life and love. Thus, other forms of unions such as homosexual unions and adulterous unions are inimical to the mind of the Creator. They undermine the integrity of the human being and the family and as such should never be promoted or supported in our society.
3. The family is the cradle where life is welcomed, nurtured and protected. Thus, every family, with marriage at its core, must create a conducive environment where the inestimable value of life is emphasized and upheld.
4. Chastity and fidelity are core virtues that are indeed at the root of every culture of life and civilization of love. Therefore, they should be promoted in our society as a core aspect of pro-life and pro-family activism.
5. Professionals, men and women, especially in the fields of medicine, sciences, law, politics, academia and media, are obliged to use their experiences and expertise to promote and protect the sanctity of life, the dignity of human sexuality, the blessings of motherhood and the beauty of family-togetherness in our society.
We hereby resolve to:
1. Help fight the emergence of the culture of death in Ghana through the teaching and promotion of the Gospel of life.
2. Speak against and help fight the radical promotion of abortion, the use of condoms and other forms of contraception by various international groups and organizations through international platforms and humanitarian aid.
3. Assist our youth to reject the hyper-sexualization and morally objectionable campaigns being pursued by some international organizations in our country so that our youth, having embraced the true Gospel of life, will be able to make morally responsible choices regarding their sexuality in the light of the same Gospel of life.
4. Resist the intentional disregard for our cultural identity and values especially on issues relating to the sanctity of life and the dignity of human sexuality.
5. Resist the persistent and pernicious attempts to impose population control on Africa by wealthy philanthropists, donor nations and international organizations who are pursuing this agenda subtly under the platform of sexual and reproductive and health rights.
6. Work with Government, other Faith-Based Organisations and civil society groups as well as the media to promote and sustain the importance of faith and family in human development, public education and in the social order.
“The degree of every civilization is measured by its ability to protect life, especially in its most vulnerable stages … and so it is important to work together to defend and promote life” (Pope Francis’ Address to the Italian Science and Life Association, May 30, 2015).
Strengthened by this message, we wish to invite every member of our Ghanaian society to the noble service of constantly and courageously defending the sanctity of human life, marriage and family with the hope that in so doing, we would help stop the emerging phenomenon of the culture of death, even as we have, through this Conference, sown the seeds of an authentic Culture of Life for today and for the generations to come.
May God bless us all and bless our nation Ghana.
Most Rev. Anthony Adanuty, Bishop of Keta-Katsi, Vice-President of Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Ms Obianuju Ekeocha, CEO, Culture of Life Africa