Thursday, July 18, 2024

“There Has Never Been An Appropriate Time To Build A Cathedral”- President Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said there is no appropriate time for Ghana to construct a national cathedral, saying its value will be realised upon completion.

Referring to the great Cathedrals across the world, the President said, “when these great Cathedrals were built, the societies that house them had not finished with the satisfaction of their major “development” needs – hospitals, schools, bridges, roads, homes needed to be built, and, I daresay, if one were to consider only those needs, there would never be a good time to build a Church, a Cathedral or any of the great buildings of faith around the world.”

“But, once they are built, they have proven to be instruments that brought people together, and deepened the spiritual and emotional experiences of people,” President Akufo-Addo said at the 19th Plenary Assembly Of the Symposium Of Episcopal Conferences Of Africa And Madagascar (Secam), on Tuesday, 26th July 2022.

It was on the theme: “Ownership Of Secam; Security And Migration In Africa And The Islands.”

According to President Akufo-Addo, “the Cathedral will also serve as a fulcrum for propagating the Christian faith, unifying the Christian community, and serve as a tribute to religious liberty. But, more importantly, it will serve as our collective thanksgiving to the Almighty for the blessings He has bestowed on our nation, sparing us the ravages of civil war that have bedevilled the histories of virtually all our neighbours, and the outbreak of mass epidemics.”

President Akufo-Addo said with the project running into some controversy, his “personal view has always been that, even though the Cathedral will be very much a national institution, the cost should be largely borne by the Christian community, with the state providing the land and initial funding to get the project off the ground.”

“Invariably, it has taken many years, sometimes centuries to complete. The National Cathedral in Washington DC took eighty-three (83) years to complete; it took one hundred and fifty (150) years to build St Peter’s Basilica in Rome; and it took one hundred and eighty-two (182) years to finish the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” he stated.

He added that, “indeed, the reigning medieval monarchs of the time made significant contributions towards the construction of Notre Dame in Paris, and, in the case of the Basilica, construction began and was completed during the era of the Papacy’s greatest temporal power, again in medieval times.”

Backing this position with scripture, President Akufo-Addo said, “I am fortified by the words of Holy Scripture, in Ecclesiastes chapter eleven (11), verse four (4), which says: “If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never sow anything and never harvest anything.”

He hoped that the “Christian community in Ghana, Africa and abroad, will rise to the challenge, and join in the fundraising for the construction of the National Cathedral. I do not envisage that this project will take a century to complete like the great historical cathedrals of the world. Technology has transformed building methods dramatically, and I am certain that, if the Christian community accepts the challenge, we shall construct this cathedral and quickly. Once completed, its value will be obvious to all.”

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