Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the cardinal of the Catholic Church, has cautioned pastors and other spiritual leaders to stop exploiting their congregants financially and to concentrate on their spiritual development and well-being.
Cardinal Turkson, who is currently First Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development at the Vatican, made this call on the Sunday Night show when he joined Kwaku Sakyi-Addo from his base at the Vatican as his guest on Asaase Radio.
“I heard that there were some pastors who are inviting their members to send their tithes by the post or something. This, for me, is unthinkable,” the cardinal said.
“People don’t come to church to be tithed: people come to church to seek God and to worship God. And if they need to support the priest or pastor for rendering service, they do. But it [the Christian Church] is not a money-extorting kind of business,” said Turkson, a religious scholar of note.
Restrategise on church finances
In his argument, Cardinal Turkson said the Vatican Museum is one of the main sources of revenue for the institution. However, because of COVID-19, the museum had to close down.
Subsequently, the Vatican was obliged to make financial sacrifices to meet its obligations, particularly to employees.
He therefore urged the churches to develop strategies in this season of COVID-19 in order not to stretch their finances too far.
Racism is sinful
Turning his attention to racism in response to a question posed by the show’s host, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, Cardinal Turkson said racism is not supported by any genetic finding.
“Genetically, racism is without basis. Racism is simply sinful,” Cardinal Turkson said.
He urged the world to eschew the phenomenon of racism as it is totally against the story of creation as captured in the book of Genesis in the Bible.
Respect for the environment
Cardinal Turkson equally lamented the lack of respect for the environment in Ghana.
“When I go out to speak at the UN in Geneva, and I bring out the issue of the environment, people always refer me to my background – and it is Ghana and the way the environment is being depleted.
“My appeal is that a certain bit of respect for the environment in Ghana will help my work a lot. We need to have a sense of intergenerational solidarity, think about those who will come after us and, in the light and in view of them, preserve our environment,” the cardinal admonished.