Afenyo Markin
Afenyo Markin

Metropolitan Arch Bishop of Tamale, Most Reverend Philip Naameh, has advised all members of the Catholic Church who have joined the Masonic Lodge to quit since the church is against it.

Alexander Afenyo MarkinHe maintained that the Masonic Lodge was not an appendage of the Catholic Church as some people claim.

“It is not the same, if you want to remain a Catholic come out of that Lodge,” he stated strongly.

According to him, in spite of the instructions which the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference has issued and serialised in the Catholic Standard, that one cannot be a Catholic and be in the Masonic Lodge, the instruction has gone unheeded and many members of the church have joined the Lodge.

He noted that fear has been put in many of them that they cannot quit once they join, countering however, that there are powerful prayers in the church that can liberate them from that entanglement.

These statements from the renowned Catholic Bishop comes as a quick and serious counter to assertions made by the Member of Parliament for Effutu in the Central Region of Ghana on a live radio interview that he is a proud member of the Lodge and his church, the Catholic Church, does not frown on its members joining the Brotherhood.

Starfmonline reports that, the Member of Parliament for Efutu in the Central region Alexander Afenyo-Markin revealed he is a member of the fraternal society, Freemasons.

According to him, the teachings and values of the organisation do not conflict with his catholic principles and upbringing.

The outspoken legislator said freemasonry teaches its followers about God and the principles of life.

“I am a mason and I have not been sanctioned by the Catholic Church. Freemasonry is a fraternal society that believes in God Almighty and follows certain principles that guide a man’s life and it does not run counter with my believes as a catholic. President Kufuor is a mason and a catholic,” he stated.

Freemasonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge.

Most Rev. Naameh was speaking at the ordination and installation of Most Rev. Richard Baawobr as the new Catholic Bishop of Wa in the Upper West Region of Ghana last Saturday.

The ordination and installation of the Most Rev. Baawobr as the fourth Catholic Bishop of Wa drew Catholics from the three regions in northern Ghana as well as some notable personalities in Ghana and across the world.

Vice President of Ghana, H.E Paa Kwasi Amisah Arthur, President and Senior Vice President of Groupe Nduom, Dr. Papa Kwasi Nduom and Mrs. Yvonne Nduom respectively, His Excellency Most Rev. Jean Marie Speich, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Chairman of the Justice and Peace Committee of the Catholic Church, Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, and a high powered delegation from Rome all graced the occasion.

Most Rev. Naameh also expressed his disgust at the growing influence of traditional religion on Christianity as some professing Christians still go to shrines for assistance.

“The story of how a Christian parliamentarian sends a black cow to traditionalists to perform rituals to kill his opponent who drives in a black car demonstrates the power of traditional religion on Christians today,” he stated sadly.

According to him, there was even a satirical song composed recently about Christians who were going to consult shrines for assistance, describing the situation as appalling.

The sermon from the Catholic Bishop who is known to be fearless in his preaching seemed to have stirred lots of giggling and whispers among patrons of the ceremony, showing their endorsement of their priest boldly speaking against the growing phenomenon of Masonic Lodge and traditionalism in the Catholic Church.

Background to the Catholic Church in Wa

The Catholic Diocese of Wa was created out of the Catholic Diocese of Tamale on the 30th of November 1959 with Most Reverend Peter Porekuu Dery as the First Bishop.

The Diocese is coterminous with the Upper West Region of Ghana and has a total land area of 18,476 square kilometers.

The total population as at now stands about 800,000.

The tribes in this region and Diocese include the Dagaaba, Sisaala, Birifor, Waala, Kaseena and Moshie.

The major economic activity of the people is subsistence farming.

Brief biography of Most Rev Richard K. Baawobr

Rev. Fr. Richard Kuuia Baawobr was born in a very religious Catholic family on 21st June, 1959 in Tom-Zendagangn in the nativity of our Lady Parish, Ko in Nandom district in the Upper West Region of Ghana which is coterminous with the Catholic Diocese of Wa.

His father, Bartholomew Baawobr, died in 1963, a few years after Fr, Baawobr was born.

His mother, Madam Theresa Bagrvial, remarried to Flaviano Maalo, from which union was born the half brother of Fr. Richard, Chrysantus Ekpaa Maalo, who is now a priest in the congregation of the Holy Spirit (CSSP).

In 2004, Fr. Richard was elected First Assistant General of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa and it was in this capacity that he took part in the chapter that elected him Superior General of the society in 2010.

As Superior General, he assumed the mantle of the Chancellor of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI).

In 2015, Fr. Baawobr was elected by the Union of Superior Generals in Italy to attend the Ordinary synod of Bishops on the family.

On the 17th of February, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Baawobr, the new Bishop of Wa, to take over from Most Rev. Paul Bemile.


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