The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, has inaugurated a nine-member Leadership Steering Committee of the Ghana Chapter of the International Catholic Legislators Network to strengthen a church-state relationship for development and peace.
The committee is chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, with the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, as his vice.
It is to bring together Catholic legislators and other Christian legislators regularly for faith formation, education and fellowship.
The main objective of the Network includes the protection of life, protection of marriage and the family, religious leadership and fundamental human rights, biotechnology, education, church-faith relations, and communication of Catholic-social thought and politics.
Also, it is to strengthen the relationship between Catholic parliamentary public life, and lay experts for debate and, therefore, be better informed about issues that impact the lives of citizens.
The Speaker observed that these were challenging times, where faith often found itself in the crosshairs of societal change.
“We live in an age where the lines between right and wrong, moral and immoral, ethical and unethical are continually blurred.
“Our mission here is clear, but the path is fraught with challenges.
It requires courage, wisdom and an unyielding commitment to our faith and values,” he said.
Mr Bagbin said the fundamental beliefs that guide the country have been shaped by centuries of wisdom and teaching.
According to him, the Network, with its roots in the universal principles of love, compassion, justice and integrity, serves as a beacon for those entrusted with the solemn responsibility of governance.
“The right to life and human dignity, the protection of the most vulnerable members of society, the preservation of marriage and the family and the promotion of religious freedom — these principles are not mere words.
“They are the pillars upon which our society stands, the compass by which we navigate the complex waters of modern governance,” he said.
He assured that the Network will not merely be a forum for discussion but rather a platform for action.
The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Most Rev. Matthew Gyamfi, for his part, said the events happening all around the continent showed clearly that all was not well and that the peace that residents seek seemed to be eluding them.
“The happenings in South Sudan, Niger and the Sahelian region, to mention but few, demonstrate that the people are disillusioned, disappointed, frustrated and have lost faith, trust and confidence in the governance system of their countries, of which Ghana is not an exception,” he said.
Rev. Gyamfi said the constitutional democracy that the people had confidence in for peace and development seemed to have been dashed.
“The legislature is a key institution in our democratic governance and as such needs to be strengthened to give hope to the poor and the vulnerable.
“Its policies and roles, especially the oversight responsibility over the executive, enacting good laws for the common good and not for self-interest, must be strengthened to be able to achieve the peace and development that we look for in Ghana,” he added.
Most Rev. Gyamfi said the bills on the death penalty which were recently passed and the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2022, now before parliament, have their bases in the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church.
He thanked the Speaker and all Parliamentarians for the good work done on the LGBTQ bill.