AFRICA/GHANA – Accra Cathedral construction: Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference emphasizes disagreement over funding

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Accra – “Although the country’s Christians will benefit most from the construction of the cathedral, the citizens should not be expected to finance this from their own donations. I think the project could have been financed differently”, said His Exc. Mgr. Philip Naameh
Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale.
The chairman of the Catholic Ghanaian Bishops’ Conference responded with this statement to the proposal of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to ask the population to support the construction of the cathedral with a monthly donation of 100 GHC .
Archbishop Naameh recalled that “not so long ago the Minister of Finance presented his budget and we felt that consultation with the churches in the country should have taken place because there are differences of opinion on how to finance the construction of the Cathedral”.
“According to him, this decision should have been made jointly with the various denominations, which could have suggested an alternative to the Minister’s project in the course of deliberations.
The Archbishop of Tamale, who enthusiastically supports the construction of the cathedral, noted that in a few days the Bishops’ Conference will present an alternative for financing the project.
During the reading of the budget, the finance minister emphasized: “Work on the cathedral is progressing rapidly and is following the contractor’s schedule. The cathedral is expected to be officially opened on March 6, 2024. After its completion, the cathedral will also have a space for official state and religious activities and symbolize the enormous contribution of faith to the building of the nation”.
The project to build the cathedral, which is located next to the parliament building in the center of the Ghanaian capital Accra, was launched by the government in March 2017 as part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence.
Fundraising for the construction began in 2018. President Nana Akufo-Addo said at the time: “The cathedral will fill the missing link in the architecture of our country … It will be a house for interfaith services and prayers and as a venue for official state events of a religious nature such as presidential inaugurations, state funerals, and national thanksgiving prayers”.