‘THE EVOLUTION OF THE FAITH’

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

He is ‘awesome’! He has awakened my catholic faith. Pope Francis – ‘His Holiness’! He leads us to understand what message ‘Christ’ according to the apostle St. Peter and his colleagues left for mankind that we accept to follow his examples, thus becoming Christians. And he’s done that marvelously.

He’s helped remove the fears and clouds on my mind as what it means to be Christian and for that matter a catholic; that connects me to a supreme being GOD- the Father almighty, the Son and the Holy Ghost; the creator of heaven and earth, and all that is seen and unseen.

Credit also goes to his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI for the support accorded him to come thus far. Both have masterminded a religious crusade and evangelization, unprecedented in the history of the universal church.

“I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.” The Pope said.

As a young catholic it is indeed very refreshing that young Catholics particularly in Ghana would realize what the obsessions are and the procedures which in the body of the church as gone through ‘evolution’. Pope Francis in his “apostolic exhortation,” to the world’s 1.5 billion Catholics called for change in direction. A direction I call a bold and matured one that calls for intellectual reforms, that accommodates and absorbs the shocks from perceived ‘evils’ in social structures at the parishes, out-stations, and more important the family.

 

As Time magazine’s ‘person of the year 2013’ The Vatican has accepted Time’s choice and made it clear “the man so widely recognized for his own humility didn’t seek the award and didn’t want its light to shine on him but on the mission of the church”.

In what I call the ‘evolution of the faith’– What role is the Roman Catholic Church in Ghana, playing to ensure the major changes in the Roman Catholic Faith “ from the top down” according to the Papacy will be deserving and will be understood in our part of the universe. The Pope says he knows “it will be a messy business but he expects his flock to dive in feet-first”. His Holiness is expecting other parts of the church to change, and calls on Catholics to be unafraid of trying new things.

In my blog ‘GHANA 2014’, I made mention of the need to innovate to overcome the challenges we face as a nation. The Church is a tool for social order but hasn’t the power as compared to the political unit of our nation.  But then, the power of the church is that which can influence politics.

“In her ongoing discernment, the Church can also come to see that certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some which have deep historical roots, are no longer properly understood and appreciated,” the Pope said.

 

The reforms in the catholic faith should not be the introduction of ‘prayer warriors’ and ‘charismatic renewal’ and the ‘militant’ approach on the devil as it were.

The Roman Catholic faith as I realized when growing up was built on quietness, meditative and reflective prayers so powerful that it shields the believer from any evil force. The Holy Rosary alone answers so many questions about the essence of our being. The addition of the Luminous Mystery to the existing – Joyous, Glorious and Sorrowful catalogues all facets of life per the experiences of the ‘Messiah’.

It’s a new beginning, a ‘revolution in the evolution of the faith’. How is the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference going about the survey of lay Catholics’ opinions on Church teachings on sexual ethics and family life? According to some religious commentators, the changes are among others intended to win back support and membership in a secular society increasingly impatient with Church doctrine and reluctant to attend church services.

What is the practical approach in strengthening the foundation of the church- the family? What role is the church playing to ensure that I don’t lose my two adorable handsome boys to the ‘gay community’? I am a Ghanaian, an Akan and an African for that matter. I cannot stand the thought of my children being gay. We are not the once to judge but it’s a war of planting mischief and disturbing the social beliefs that recognized authorities manipulate. But I will be a victor in my house.  So help me GOD….

“The church’s centralization, where all roads lead to Rome, and the “we’ve always done it this way” type of thinking have hindered Catholics’ ability to minister to local people in far-flung places, I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities,” the Pope said.

 

I also support administering the sacrament of holy matrimony without state license. The core value of the family in a traditional marriage should not be overlooked. You seek GOD’s intervention in your marriage with the assistance of the church in receiving the sacrament. When it’s no crime when one does not register a marriage with the Register General, Local Authority or Court the situation bars a faithful from partaking in the Eucharist. Why? Exposing the spirituality of marriage to the mercy of the state is causing headaches.

The Catholic Church in Ghana at a time embraced polygamy, but its relation with celebration of the Eucharist by the lay catholic was also lost in the ‘evolution’. Our man has spoken:

“Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason; the Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” Francis said.

The catechesis on the Holy Eucharist is going through major transformation. Where is the voice of the Ghanaian Lay Catholic? To have the rights to the ‘powerful medicine and nourishment’; as prescribed by Jesus Christ the ‘Messiah’ now reiterated to us by His Holiness Pope Francis.

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By: Joe Bright Nyarko

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