Most Rev Philip Naameh, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference

The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference and Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale, Most Reverend Philip Naameh has bemoaned the drop in membership of the Catholic faith by 3 percent as recorded by the 2020 Population and Housing Census.

He said these members have moved into the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches. Reverend Naameh, therefore, charged the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall, Catholic fraternal society to assume the role of catechists in passing on the faith to members.

He said this during the launch of the 50th Anniversary (Golden Jubilee) of the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall in the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province (TEP) at the Our Lady of Annunciation Cathedral in the Northern Region.

The Archbishop noted that the same census exercise has produced interesting context and figures with the percentage of Christians in Ghana still at seventy-one percent, among others.

"I would like to draw your attention to the just-ended population Census. If you look at the figures and analysis in some context, it's very interesting.

The number of Christian population has remained the same at 71% but the Catholic Church has lost by 3% and we (Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference) want to believe that this 3% has run to the Pentecostal Churches and not Peganism nor Islam", Archbishop Naameh noted.

According to him, the percentage of the population that subscribe to Islam has also increased, "but theirs is due to natural figures because, for every child a Catholic has, his counterpart in the Islam faith has three to four children.

"Because for them, it's a missionary substitute to have as many Muslims as possible and that's also their faith. We have to respect it.

"Because for many other quarters, the Catholic Church seems to ride better with Muslims than the other Christian denominations, especially on matters of ethical considerations and the respect for Women and Children, Archbishop Philip Naameh insisted.

He said as part of measures to curtail further drop,  they are intensifying the church's presence in Chaplains and non-Catholic schools so that Catholic Children who go there will not be unnecessarily lured to go to Pentecostal and Charismatic churches or One-man churches.

Reverend Philip Naameh also commended the Knights of Marshall for impacting the spiritual growth of its members through the various leadership roles played in and outside the Church.

He, however, urged them to go into catechism adding, "The first thing that comes to mind is the assumption of roles that our catechists play. You (the Knights and Ladies of Marshall) have done very well, but you are not doing catechism.

At the University of Cape Coast, you will get a Professor who has been teaching catechism. He knows the faith and he impacts it". He said

He said every Bishop in the Church would be happy about it because, "I think it's the role that every Bishop will be happy with, if the Knights will enter and play the roles of catechists.

Some of our People leaving and going into some of these Pentecostal churches, is also because they don't know the faith of the Catholic church. But the spiritual formation that you continue to impact on Brothers and Sisters, helps you to mature and a mature faith sees nothing more than passing on the faith to others. And I think with your help, we can connect together in a good way to prevent all these things from happening", Archbishop Philip Naameh stated.

The Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall, is a Catholic fraternal society. It was founded in Ghana in the year 1926 in Sekondi Takoradi and also in 1972 in Tamale marking the beginning of the Knights of Marshall in the Northern territories of Ghana.

The Order also exists among others, to rally Catholic Men and Women for the effective apostolate and the advancement of fraternal relations, charity, unity and service to God.

The year-long Anniversary was jointly launched by Supreme Knight, Sir Knight Brother Patrick Kobina Anumel and Most Respected Grand Lady Sister, Elizabeth Anderson-Yebuah with a call on Members to continue to enhance their spiritual formation for growth and development.

The Supreme Director, Sir Kt. Vt. Bro. Cdr. Sir Edmund S.K. Kwaw whose speech was read for him by Substantive Sir Kt. Bro. Anthony Coblah Kemavor said the 15 foundation Brothers of Council 27, Tamale, philosophy was a great success and it was as a result of the tireless efforts by Brothers and Sisters to go from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.

He noted that this calls for the need for all to be appreciated as the mustard seed sown on 16th September, 1972, in the Tamale Archdiocese which has now spread to include the other four Dioceses in the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province (TEP).

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