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[Video] We don’t want to act like an opposition party – Bishops Conference explains “silence” under NPP gov’t

The Catholic Bishops Conference has dismissed accusations that the group has gone silent on ills of society since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over the reigns of government.

It says such observations and commentaries are erroneous and inaccurate, indicating that the Conference has been actively engaging the government on a plethora of issues.

The Conference has in recent time come under heavy criticism by a section of the Ghanaian public for not being “loud” and “critical” enough of the current administration as it used to be under the erstwhile Mills-Mahama administrations.

But in an interview with ABC News, the Secretary General of the Conference, Very Rev Fr Lazarus Anondee disagreed with the critics suggesting “there is a lot of engagements that go on between the church, the Conference and Government on several levels.”

“I have heard quite a number of people saying this, I don’t think so. The only way the Church can engage government is to be issuing statements.

“There are several levels as I said and I think there are many levels of relationship between us and the state and so issues that are burning, issues that the Church needs government to know [and] take note of, I think there is a way to also make those things known,” he averred.

For him, there was no need for the Conference to be loud on all issues particularly when there are other means of getting the government’s attention to it.

“So it is not necessarily the case that we have to act like, I don’t want to use the term, an opposition party. It shouldn’t be the case, it should not necessarily be the case. If the situation demands that they see something publicly, they will do it but it is not everything that they have to jump on,” Very Rev Fr Anondee advanced.

He says people must be allowed to debate on issues dispassionately if Ghana is to make progress.

“I also think that since we are practicing democracy we must also allow people space to debate issues when issues come up. The only thing that sometimes is lacking is civility in the debate.

“But if we are civil enough [and] ready to listen to one another and debate, we will be surprised we will come up with very good ideas [and] very good solutions to some of the challenges that face us,” he noted.

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