A pose after the launch
The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference yesterday launched a five-year action plan dubbed “Laudato sí Action Programme”, the church’s response to the global climate challenge.
Engineered to run from 2022 to 2026, it was inspired according to a release from the church, by Pope Francis’ teachings in his Encyclical “about the care of our common home.”
The Action Programme, according to the release “is positioned to be the Ghanaian Church’s response to the Holy Father’s seven-year Laudato sí Action Platform (LSAP) which he announced at the end of the Special Anniversary Year (May 2020 – May 2021) to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Laudato sí Encyclical.”
Continuing, the release states “Pope Francis had set up the platform, reminding everyone of the responsibility we have toward future generations, and urging the faithful to continue to take up the charge of caring for the earth in the face of the looming environmental and social crises.”
The initiative revolves around seven goals, responses “to the cry of the earth; responding to the cry of the poor; ecological economics; adoption of sustainable lifestyles; ecological education; ecological spirituality, as well as community engagement and participatory action.”
Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle of Cape Coast is the lead promoter of the Laudato sí Action Platform for the Ghanaian Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) who in an interview with Vatican News, a Catholic newsletter said “the 5-year programme is an opportunity to put into action and contextualise for Ghanaians, what Pope Francis teaches in his 2015 Encyclical.”
He noted that “the 5-year Action Programme resonates with the objectives of the Pope’s Laudato sí Action Platform: “to promote among the people, a consciousness that the earth is a gift of God to us, and we are only caretakers of what God has given us. Therefore, we are to make sure we cherish and treasure it so that we can pass it on to posterity.”
Even prior to this latest programme, the Church in Ghana had been involved in other initiatives that promote care for the earth, including the “Arbor day/week” programme geared toward raising awareness in school children to take a stand for protecting the planet. More recently, in April 2021, the Ghanaian government kicked off the ‘Green Ghana Project’ through which it encouraged faith-based and civil society organisations to be involved in planting 5 million trees this year.
Along the same lines, the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference came up with the idea to support the Green Ghana Project with an initiative to plant a further 1 million trees around parishes, schools, hospitals and Church institutions.
Caritas, the Church’s charity organisation, is set to collaborate with the Ghanaian Bishops’ Conference to realise the objectives of the five-year Laudato sí Action Programme.
Head of Caritas Ghana, Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo, explained to Vatican News that Caritas is in the process of realigning its ongoing work in the country to the seven goals of the initiative, by translating the Action Programme into an operational framework.
By A.R. Gomda