‘Christian Council Not Police’

THE RIGHT Reverend Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Manso, Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), said on Thursday that the body had no law enforcement mandate over churches and their agents in the country. "The Council has no power to formulate a religious Code of Conduct for Pastors, Prophets, Church Leaders, and any Christian groupings. We have no power to interfere with the operations of any church. "The Council exists to strengthen the capacity of its Member Churches to contribute to achieving justice, unity, reconciliation and integrity of creation among the various sectors of the Ghanaian society and to provide a forum for joint action on issues of common concern", Dr. Frimpong-Manso stated at the 80th Anniversary lectures of the CCG in Accra. The Council serves as the link with the World Council of Churches and other ecumenical bodies, mainly concerned with the spiritual affairs of their congregation. He said in seeking to achieve the objective of the CCG, the council was guided by the Holy Bible and remained non-partisan in all matters of national interest. Dr. Frimpong-Manso, who is also the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, said there was therefore no justification for society to visit the ills of some "charlatan pastors" on the council. He said the council was an amalgamation of about 16 Church denominations. "We have our own Code of Conduct for the members, but we cannot vouch for non-member Churches and their Pastors. "All the other associations and Christian bodies also have their own Code of Conduct, enforcement is another issue, and in any case we expect the laws of the land to continue to deal with all pastors who cross the line". African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christ Evangelical Mission, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Eden Revival Church International, Evangelical Church of Ghana, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana and Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana are members of the CCG. Others members are Ghana Baptist Convention, Ghana Mennonite Church, Greek Orthodox Church (Patriarchate of Alexandria), Methodist Church, Ghana; Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Religious Society of Friends Salvation Army and two associations -Young Men's Christian Association, and Young Women's Christian Association. Speaking on "The dynamics of ecumenical relations within the Church", Rev. Canon Prof. John S. Pobee urged humanity to recognize their mandate on earth - as caretakers of the natural resources. He said God, the creator of the world, mandated man to exercise oversight responsibilities over it, but unfortunately, "We have been careless, leading to the destruction of what we are to protect". "The issues of climatic change, the depletion of the ozone layer are all testimonies of man's failure to manage what the maker had entrusted in our hands". Prof. Pobee said the doctrine of Ecumenism focuses on the pillars of church unity, communion, and commandment of God, non-discriminatory and to complement each other’s weakness and strength "as nobody is self-sufficient". Other speakers were Dr. Esther Offei-Aboagye, Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies, and Rev. Prof E. Addow Obeng, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast. As part of the activities marking the anniversary, the Council has launched an official cloth, which symbolizes togetherness among Christians in the country.