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Manage Church Funds Transparently, Priests Told 

By Joe Dinga Pefok — The President of the Cameroon Episcopal Conference, Mgr. Samuel Kleda, has called on Catholic priests to show transparency and accountability to parishioners in the management of Church funds.

The Archbishop of Douala Archdiocese was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 37th Episcopal Conference which held at the premises of the Cathedral in Douala, January 6. The theme of the conference was on charity at the service of new evangelisation, reason why Mgr. Kleda focused more on the subject of charity.

The Archbishop asserted that the social work of the church is about serving humanity, and that serving humanity is doing God’s work. He stated that charity work, which is mainly about giving assistance to the underprivileged in the society, is strongly recommended in the Holy Bible. But Mgr. Kleda observed, with regret, that many parishes across the country no longer have charity organisations and, thus, charity work in those parishes exist only in sermons and not in practice.

He urged all the priests to revive and reorganise charity groups in their parishes. Mgr. Kleda also talked on the need for the reorganisation of existing charity structures in parishes to make them more effective in line with the preaching of the Catholic Church.  He stressed that the charity which the Catholic Church recommends is not just about giving assistance, but is the charity that equally defends human dignity when giving assistance.

Thus, the Church is against the attitude of some rich persons in society who, when they want to give out a little assistance to the unprivileged, will further humiliate them by making them crawl on their bellies before they get the pittance. In the face of the rising rate of poverty in the society, Mgr. Kleda asserted that the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening.

He stressed that priests cannot afford to remain indifferent to the suffering of the people. He said priests and Christians of the different parishes of the Catholic Church have the duty to defend the helpless and to be receptive to the underprivileged who come knocking on the doors of the parishes to seek help.

The Archbishop urged Catholic Christians to show love to the underprivileged by acts of generosity. On the second day of the Episcopal Conference, a new draft text on organising charity groups in Catholic parishes nationwide was presented for examination and adoption.

First published in The Post print edition no 01495

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