Pope Benedict XVI, has conferred on former President John Agyekum Kufour, the Papal Award of Knight Commander of St. Gregory the Great, for his dedicated service to mankind and the Catholic Church in general.

Also honoured was his wife, the former First Lady, Theresah Kufour, on who the Papal Award Dame of St Gregory the Great for her commitment to the plight of poor children and their mothers.

The award conferred on the former President is the highest ecclesiastical honour to be conferred on anybody, Catholic or non-Catholic in the annals of the Church in Ghana.

The Most Reverend Thomas Mensah, Catholic Archbishop of Kumasi, assisted by Archbishop Emeritus Akwasi Sarpong on behalf of the Pope conferred the honour on the former President at a ceremony held at the St. Gregory the Great Provincial Major Seminary at Parkoso near Kumasi, on Sunday.

A cross section of the clergy, traditional rulers, political leaders and civil society organizations attended the programme.
To signify his new status in the Church, former President Kufour was decorated with a medal and also given the Scroll of the Decree.

A citation accompanying the award and read by Archbishop Emeritus Sarpong said “You have done your best to give an example of how a Catholic should behave in a role of leadership in matters of the faith. The Church is proud of you for the way you have helped to promote humanity and Catholic principles.

“Showing Catholic principles, you refused to allow an International Conference of gay people to be held in Ghana. You have shown great leadership wherever the Lord had committed you as you had exhibited the principles of justice, peace and equity.
“It is for these reasons coupled with your Catholic principles that the Archdiocese of Kumasi requested and obtained for you from his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to be awarded.”

Archbishop Emeritus Sarpong lauded former President Kufour and said he was of the conviction that the award would help to propel him to greater heights in his endeavours.

Most Reverend Mensah appealed to all Catholics to be committed to the tenets of the Church to ensure its growth.

He stated that the awards had helped brought honour to the Archdiocese in general and also lauded the former first couple for their dedicated services to mankind.

Source: GNA

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