Inspired by Pope Francis’ teachings in his Encyclical on the care of our common home, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) has launched a five-year Laudato si Action programme to span from 2022 to 2026.
Launching the Action Plan at a ceremony at the National Catholic Secretariat in Accra on November 24, the Most Rev. Henryk M. Jagodzinski, Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, expressed optimism that the programme would create new spirituality among the people of God.
“With this official launch, it is my hope and prayer that the GCBC Laudato Si Action Programme: 2022-2026 will create a new culture of spirituality, care and work of the Catholic Church in Ghana,” he said.
“I am happy that the Plan truly presents an integrated approach to human development, namely, Spiritual, Economic, Social, Psychological etc. This will help the Catholic Church in Ghana to better demonstrate Integral Human Development as defined in Catholic Social Teachings,” he pointed out at the Wednesday launch.
The Apostolic Nuncio reiterated the invitation of our Holy Father Pope Francis to join actively in the care of our common home as he said “We have the opportunity to prepare a better tomorrow for all. From God’s hands, we have received a garden, we cannot leave a desert to our children.”
He congratulated the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference for the initiative to develop a 5-year Laudato Si Action Plan, saying, “As you already know, the LSAP is an important Agenda of the Holy Father Pope Francis to awaken a new spirituality and faith action for both humanity and environment.”
He, however, recommended to the Church hierarchy in Ghana to develop an integrated reporting framework for this plan, adding, “I can already signal to you that Rome will be expecting periodic reports on the progress of this Plan and as representative of Pope Francis in Ghana, I will also be asking for regular reports in this regard.”
To do this effectively, the Papal envoy also recommended further to the Catholic Bishops of Ghana to “set up a good structure at the National Catholic Secretariat for the overall coordination and management of this 5-year Plan.”
The Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, Archbishop of Cape Coast and the Episcopal Promoter of the Laudato Sí Action Plan chaired the official launching programme.
The initiative of the Church hierarchy in Ghana is aimed achieving seven global Laudato sí goals is centred on responding to the cry of the earth; to the cry of the poor; ecological economics; adoption of sustainable lifestyles; ecological education; ecological spirituality and community engagement and participatory action.
The GCBC at its May 2021 Plenary at the National Catholic Secretariat launched a one million tree planting agenda to mark the special anniversary of Laudato Si. They firmed-up their commitment to plant one million trees during this year’s raining season.
The commitment by the Ghanaian Prelates is to support government’s GREEN GHANA Project announced in April 2021 to plant five million trees in 2021, a June 7 Statement from the GCBC indicated.
As part of its commitment, the Ghanaian Bishops in a June 7, 2021 Statement, encouraged all Ecclesial Communities at the Diocesan and Parish levels as well as Societies in the Church to take concrete actions towards planting trees to achieve the GCBC’s one million trees target of the Church’s support to the GREEN GHANA project.