Archbishop Jean-Marie Speich, the outgoing Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana has commended the level of religious tolerance in the country and has urged Ghanaians to sustain the peaceful existence of the faiths.
He was of the opinion that Ghana’s religious toleration was a model worth emulating because it had guaranteed freedoms that had enhanced the rights of the people.
Archbishop Speich made this known on Monday when he called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra to bid him farewell after almost six-year duty tour of Ghana.
Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Monsignor Jean-Marie Speich as his Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana on August 18, 2013.
The Apostolic Nuncio who recalled the cordiality with which the Ghanaian people and his colleague diplomats related to him during his time in the country, said he was saddened that he was leaving all that warmth and friendship behind.
“I was here Five and-a-Half beautiful years and had the opportunity to know better your country, and better of the Diplomats here in your country and had time to understand to know and appreciate your culture and also time to find good Ghanaian friends,” he told the President.
Archbishop Speich said he was humbled and particularly grateful to have had the opportunity to meet President Akufo-Addo to discuss important issues when he took office as Ghanaian head in 2017, saying the meeting “demonstrated the excellent relations that existed between the Republic of Ghana and the Holy Sea.”
He said the decision of the Pope to send a Cardinal to Ghana’s 60th anniversary was to honour the President and Ghanaians and reinforced the cordial relations between Ghana and the Holy Sea. “It has been a very good moment, and I wish to thank you for your clarity and for your friendship,” he said to President Akufo-Addo. The Apostolic Nuncio commended the President for deepening the Ghana’s democratic culture, describing the country as a pivot in the African continent, urging other countries to take lessons from those achievements.
He also commended the President for the development projects across the country, and for his vision and zeal to improve the socio-economic fortunes of Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo on his part noted the huge and invaluable contributions the Catholic church made to the spiritual and socio-economic development of Ghana and acknowledged the Catholic church’s crucial support for Ghana’s democratic process giving Government’s commitment to the continuous development of democracy in the country.
“We are determined to build a new Ghana with respect of the rule of Law, respect for human rights and individual liberty, as well as the principle of democratic accountability.
All these, he said, were the foundation and building blocks for a prosperous Ghana – a Ghana Beyond Aid.