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COMMUNIQUE OF THE SYNOD - 2015

COMMUNIQUE OF FIRST SYNOD OF THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF KONONGO-MAMPONG - 2015
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you (2 Cor. 13:13).
We, the bishop, priests, other pastoral collaborators and lay faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Konongo-Mampong, came together at the Spiritan University College, Ejisu, from May 24th – June 3rd 2015, for the first-ever Synod of the Diocese under the theme: “The Catholic Diocese of Konongo-Mampong in Retrospect: Prospects, Challenges and the Way Forward.”
During the Synod, we had the opportunity to pray and reflect together on the pastoral situation pertaining in our diocese as well as on the general socio-economic and political circumstances in our dear country Ghana. We have taken stock of the achievements, challenges, and the way forward for our diocese as we reflected on such topics as evangelization, education, self-reliance, youth and laity formation, marriage and family life, environment, witchcraft and curses, and interreligious dialogue.
We want to thank God for His manifold blessings on our diocese over the past twenty years. We thank God especially for the Christian families who strive in the midst of daunting socio-economic challenges to lead exemplary Christian lives. We thank God for the dedication and commitment of the bishop, priests, religious, laity and the generosity of the benefactors of the diocese. We thank God for the lives and the gift of the youth who constitute the future of the church in our diocese. We thank God for the growth of the church in the establishment of new parishes and rectorates, educational institutions and health facilities.

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TALK ON WITCHCRAFT BY FR. JACOB TARDIE-ADOMAKO

A TALK ON WITCHCRAFT AND CURSES DELIVERED BY REV. FATHER JACOB TARDIE-ADOMAKO, ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIRST SYNOD OF KONONGO-MAMPOMG DIOCESE, HELD AT THE SPIRITAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, EJISU, FROM 24TH OF MAY 2015 TO 3RD JUNE 2015. I thank my Lord Bishop Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu , the Vicar General and the Synod Planning Committee for the double honour done me by calling me first to be a member of the Planning Committee and again inviting me to give a talk on the topic WITCHCRAFT and CURSES These topics have gained currency and have become very sensational. It has caught the attention of the news papers and the media, radio. Day in and day out we hear so many stories being told in the news papers about these. Many Christians including Catholics have joined the chorus of pronouncing curses and invoking the powers of the lesser gods on others at the least provocation. There is lack of forgiveness and this has greatly affected the faith of the people. Many are also living in fear of witchcraft, magic, sorcery and others. There is a whole area of superstition because there are many things happening which defiles human understanding and human beings want answers to them. Many too, because of their inability to handle these problems have also resorted to denial of the existence of these spirits. For them, it is not right to say that witches do exist, there is no power in the demons or even they do not exist.

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Jesus cursing fig tree

Dear Synod Fathers and Synod Mothers, last Friday during my homily I had the chance to comment briefly on the passage in Mark’s Gospel dealing with the cursing of the fig tree.  I hope that the following write-up will help to throw more light on this difficult passage.
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THE CURSING OF THE FIG TREE
By
Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu

“On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.  And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again’. And his disciples heard it” (Mk.11:12-14)

Certain actions of Jesus in the Gospels sometimes cause problems for the reader.  In some cases, his actions do not seem to agree with what he does as well as with what he teaches elsewhere.  In the Gospels, we get the impression that Jesus is someone who is gentle, loving, and kind.  He comes across as the special friend of the poor and the needy.  However, several actions of his, at first glance, appear cruel, harsh, and unkind.  An example is the passage dealing with the cursing of the fig tree quoted above.  This event, related by Mark, is also found in a shorter form in Matthew (21:18ff).
There are many difficulties with this story.  Of all the miracles performed by Jesus, this is the only one that is a miracle of destruction.  (The destruction of the swine in Mk. 5:1-20 is different in that it is incidental to the healing of the demoniac). 
Some Christians find Jesus’ action in this story quite shocking.  According to some scholars, the incident cannot be historical because it is unthinkable that Jesus would destroy a fruit tree simply because it did not have fruit for him.  Other interpreters see this as a story of miraculous power wasted in the service of a quick-tempered Jesus.  Therefore, some scholars deny that this incident ever happened and claim that it is a fictitious miracle story which developed from the parable of the unfruitful fig tree in Lk. 13:6-9.  

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