Cardinal Turkson calls for dialogue between state and the church
The president of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace His Eminence Cardinal Peter Appiah-Turkson has called for a dialogue between the church and the state for the promotion of a just society.
He said it would be a travesty of justice to separate the church from the state or politics since “both seek the welfare of society.”
According to him, most of the problems prevailing in society now were a result of this dichotomy, which had made society insensitive to the plights of his fellow.
Cardinal Appiah-Turkson, was speaking on the first day of the 12th biennial Marshall Moreau Murat Memorial lectures organized by the Knights and Ladies of Marshall on the theme ‘Citizenship in Church and State Relations’ at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
The lecture was instituted by the noble order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall to immortalize the memory of Sir James Marshall, a British colonial judge who promoted the establishment of the Catholic in Ghana and the role Rev. Frs. Auguste Moreau and Eugene Murat, both missionaries from the Society of African Missionary (SMA) who were sent to Elmina in May 1880, after more than 250 years of the breakdown of Catholicism in Ghana.
Cardinal Turkson explained that if there were a constant dialogue between the state and the church, the church would constantly guide the state on some of its excesses or actions that were inimical to development of humanity.
He said there was the need for politics to undergo constant purification “since it can never be completely free of the dangers of certain ethical blindness caused by the dazzling effects of power and special interest.”
“Because of these temptations of effects of power and special interest, pursuit of wealth and money, the church believes that the public easily develops blind spots for which it needs purifying light of faith.”
Using the first and second documents Africa Synods as his reference points, he observed that faith by its nature was an encounter with God which “liberate reason from its blind spots enabling reason to function effectively”
He said if the object of political reason was humanism and human beings, “then faith has to enable political reason to see a human subject that it is concerned about in all its clarity.”
Cardinal Appiah-Turkson called on Ghanaians, particularly those in authority, to use the institutional structures to facilitate the well-being of people, which he said constituted political charity.
“This institutional charity is something that is possible for everybody, depending on our roles in society and the degree of our influence in society”, he stated.
The Supreme Knight, Sir Knight Ekow Paintsil, in his welcome address, gave the history of the society, which started from Sekondi on November 18, 1926 with 13 members and has now to grown to over to 10,000 members with branches in Togo, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone and London.
Some of the personalities present at the lecture were Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who represented the Asantehene and Most Rev Gabriel Justice Anokye Metropolitan Archbishop of Catholic Church.
Pix (1) Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, addressing the lectures.