Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pope urges African Catholics to praise God in ‘authentic African voice’

Catholic News Agency: "Pope urges African Catholics to praise God in ‘authentic African voice’

Kumasi, Jul. 11, 2006 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI urged African Catholics to praise God with an authentically African voice and to ensure that the faithful enter more deeply into the mysteries that they celebrate, proclaiming them with confidence and living them with joy, reported the Accra Daily Mail.

The Pope made this statement in a goodwill message he sent to the six-day congress for the Promotion of Liturgy in Africa and Madagascar in Kumasi.

The congress, which aims to evaluate, promote and re-launch liturgical life in the African continent, was organized by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in collaboration with the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the congregation, commended African Catholics for their manifestation of joy and sense of community in their liturgical celebrations, their love of song and their desire to see acceptable elements of their culture incorporated into public worship, reported Accra Daily Mail.

J.H. Mensah, the senior government minister representing Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor, said, "using authentic liturgy will lead to the strengthening of the Catholic Church in Ghana and this will lead to the building of a disciplined society."

In this era of, "unprincipled methods of living, it is necessary for the Church and the State to work together to get Ghanaians to live as a people of God," said Mensah.

He acknowledged and congratulated the Church, on behalf of the government, for the role it is playing in education. He expressed the government's support for the development of the first Ghanian Catholic University - the College of Fiapre.

He thanked the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference for lending its support to the government's invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to visit Ghana next year and to participate in the celebrations, marking the centenary of Catholicism in the Northern part of Ghana and the golden jubilee of Ghana's independence.

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