The Specificity of Catholic Priesthood in a Religio-Pluralistic Society: The Ghanaian Case

AUTHOR : Leo Andoh Korsah
ISSUE: February 2019 Volume 1 Number 1 Article 14
PAGES : 170 – 179
DOI : 10.32051/02211914

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Abstract

Religious pluralism in Africa recognizes plurality of religious leaders due to the perceived religious functions they play. During national events in Ghana such as the Independence Day remembrance, religious leaders from the three main religions are invited to make prayers for the nation. How distinct is the Catholic priest from such religious leaders? Also, with the emergence of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in Ghana, there has been the rise of multiform of pastors, priests, evangelists, prophets and many diverse men of God. This religious phenomenon appears to put into question the nature of the catholic priesthood in such a religio-pluralistic society. Theologically, the Catholic priest is called out from the Christian community, ordained within and by the Christian community and sent out to the same Christian community. The Catholic priesthood differs in essence from that of protestant tradition. It is also distinct from that of other religions such as African Traditional Religion (ATR) although they may share some essential features such as presiding over ritual sacrifice. Hence, this article elucidates the specificity of the Catholic priesthood in a religio-pluralistic society such as Ghana through a historico-theological survey.

Keywords:Alter Christus, in persona ecclesiae, in persona Christi, priesthood, religio-pluralism

Author’s Biodata:LEO ANDOH KORSAH is a lecturer at the Methodist College of Education, Asene Aboabo – Eastern Region,Ghana. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Philosophy degrees in Religious Studies from the Department of Religious Studies – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.