The Archbishop Emeritus of the Kumasi Archdiocese, Most Rev Peter K. Sarpong, has said what the country needs is selfless men and women who will sacrifice for nation without expecting any reward.
“Present-day Ghana is too inexplicably selfish, full of selfish individuals, groups and tribes… We need great men for Ghana, who would work selflessly and sacrificially for the nation,” he said.
Most Rev Sarpong said this last Tuesday, September 20, 2016, when he delivered a lecture titled, “The relevance of Archbishop John Kodwo Amissah’s thoughts in today’s Ghana”, at the Christ the King Parish Hall in Accra.
Archbishop Amissah was the archbishop of Cape Coast until his tragic death in a car accident on September 22, 1991 on his way to pastoral visit to one of the parishes of the archdiocese of Cape Coast.
He was noted for his forthrightness, fearless in his defence of people against individuals or bodies whose actions and policies were destructive of those rights.
The lecture was organised by the Knighthood Forum of the Catholic Church, made up of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall and the Knights of St John International and Ladies Auxiliary, both Catholic friendly societies.
Stating the thoughts of Most Rev Amissah, Archbishop Emeritus Sarpong said “his hatred for injustice is surely relevant to today’s Ghana, where injustices are committed with the ease with which we blow our noses.”
Stand for truth
“He would, therefore, fight for justice to be done,” he added.
Most Rev. Sarpong challenged leaders in the country to stand for truth, justice and defend those whose rights are trampled upon.
He said Ghana could do with a few leaders who eschewed wealth, false solidarity, prestige and power, adding, “Ghana, as indeed, the whole world, needs what Pope Paul VI calls civilisation of love, which creates a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.”
“Archbishop Amissah worked strenuously to help create that civilisation for Ghana. He was aware that some of the harshest words of Jesus Christ were directed against these worldly values, which feed on the venomous diet of pride, selfishness and greed,” Most Rev Sarpong said.
He said Archbishop Amissah was against greed and the desire to amass wealth, warning, “unless we stop amassing wealth that we do not need, oppressing the poor, refusing to exploit, telling lies, running after meaningless, hollow vanity, even killing for political expediency, Ghana will never become the society we want it to be.”
“We need an amazing leader like Archbishop John Kodwo Amissah to bring sanity to our national life. He was indefatigable, he was a scholar, he was a patriot. He was a man of God and a great churchman,” Most Rev. Sarpong said.
He paid a glowing tribute to Archbishop Amissah, whom he described as a patriot, an academician, a selfless and devoted man of God, whose ideologies, which he expounded 25 years ago, were still relevant even more now than before.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast, Most Rev. Mathias K. Nketsiah, welcomed the guests and explained that the lecture was an opportunity to reminisce Archbishop Amissah’s who devoted his life to fighting social injustices.
He said the lecture was important because, “his life, his thoughts and his principles and the values that he espoused are, without a doubt, very relevant at a time when these are in short supply, to the detriment of our individual and collective lives.”
Most Rev Nketsiah recalled the significant impact of Archbishop Amissah on the Catholic Church in Ghana, West Africa and on the African continent.
The President of the Knighthood Forum, Sir Knight Brother Ernest Amoako-Arhin, who chaired the function, also paid tribute to the Archbishop and said what Archbishop Amissah stood for would continue to linger.