Forward Comrade …

FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT IN ACCRA, Nov. I8

The Bishop of Accra, the Right Rev. Richard Roseveare, preaching his first sermon since his return to Ghana, today declared the Church’s unreserved condemnation of the bomb attempt against President Nkrumah last August. He called it the ” deepest of human crimes “.

The Bishop was expelled from Ghana three months ago for his criticism of the Ghana Young Pioneers, the country’s national youth movement. Preaching in a packed cathedral, he said: “Violence and intimidation in the field of national politics are always deplorable and can bring no lasting good to anyone.

When such violence reaches the point of attempted murder or assassination, one of the deepest of human crimes is committed, and those who are proved guilty of such crimes merit the extreme penalties of the law. Freedom of thought and speech and action in Ghana or in any other state can never under any circumstances justify the plotting or execution of murder, and the Church condemns such things unreservedly.”

WORK( HELPED The Bishop said he had previously condemned the assassination attempt in his address to the Anglican Church Synod that led to his expulsion. But the press at the time was more concerned with other words of his. he said, referring to his condemnation of certain aspects of the Young Pioneers as “Godless”. The Bishop then made this appeal: ”

By the mercy of God, I have been allowed to return to my sacred duties as your Bishop. In these first words to you, I make bold to appeal to every citizen of Ghana to work and Pray unceasingly for the unity of their beloved nation. I appeal to those who are engaged in any plans of violence to forsake such foul deeds and redirect their energies towards the true welfare and unity of Ghana.”

Unity was the keynote of the bishop’s sermon. He declared, “I verily believe, and I am sure you do too, that the distress we have suffered has indeed helped rather than hindered the work of the Gospel in Ghana. We have been drawn together as never before.

We have learnt a new sense of dependence upon God, a new sense of the deep unity which we share in Christ with all other Christians in Ghana and in the rest of the world.” FULLER LIFE The Bishop reasserted his belief in the supremacy of God and the Church over the state and men.

All that everyone wanted in the Republic of Ghana. he said, was that she would be a land of happy-minted people, marching together towards A richer, fuller life, a land of children who would grow up to love, honour, and serve the nation. “This harvest of good and desirable things can never be fully reaped unless we first love and honour and obey God’s Man, the Bishop said, could not achieve true progress except in unity and harmony,

But the unity of which he spoke did not mean all men must hold identical opinions. ‘ It means “, he stated, ” the transcendence Of differing views by an overriding unity If purpose, a rich binding together of all the varying gifts which God has given men.

It demands all of us great patience, great forbearance, great tolerance, great Love, and a deep loyalty and integrity.” The Bishop ended his sermon with a passionate public expression of gratitude to President Nkrumah for authorizing his return. BISHOP’S APPEAL FOR UNITY IN GHANA VIOLENCE STRONGLY CONDEMNED

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