McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Daniel P. Scheid
Anna F. Scheid
Environment, Care, Collaboration, Church, State, Teaching, Catholic, Ghana, Akan, Africa, Traditions
The care of the environment has always been considered by the Ghana Catholic Church as an important aspect of her pastoral care and evangelizing mission in Ghana. Hence, in their various teachings in communiqués and other pastoral documents from 1965 till now, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has consistently addressed the major environmental challenges confronting Ghana such as deforestation, mining, pollution, etc., applying the principles of stewardship and care of creation, intergenerational solidarity, integral ecology, etc., to ground these teachings.
Besides, in acknowledging that neither the Catholic Church nor the Ghanaian Government alone can resolve the various ecological crises confronting Ghana, the Bishops’ Conference had sought on three occasions in the past to collaborate with and complement the efforts of Government in tackling Ghana’s ecological challenges albeit without much success. In arguing that the Conference’s past unsuccessful attempts at collaborating with the Government on environmental care in Ghana is due to the lack of a properly articulated theoretical and practical framework to guide this collaboration, I propose a new model of Church-State collaboration on the care of the environment in Ghana based on Catholic social teaching and African theological traditions. I argue that in addition to applying the principles of Catholic social teaching to ground their ecological teachings, the Ghana Episcopal Conference should also use the African concepts of God as creator, the close interconnection between human and non-human creation, cosmic harmony and cosmic common good as well as the Akan practices of taboos, sacred groves, sacred days and totems. I also propose the celebrations of Africa Environment Day, Arbor Week, National Sanitation Day (NSD) and World Day of Prayer for Creation as four main contents for this new model of Church and State collaboration, arguing that these will offer the most viable option for both the Church and the State to work together to resolve Ghana’s current and future ecological challenges.
Abbey-Quaye, E. (2021). Building A New Model of Church-State Collaboration on Environmental Care in Ghana Based on Catholic Social Teaching and African Theological Traditions (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/2035