President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that there is no more appropriate time for the construction of a National Cathedral than now.
He was speaking at the opening of the 19th Plenary Assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) at the Christ The King Parish in Accra.
“The project has run into some controversy currently about the funding but my personal view has always been that, even though the Cathedral will be very much a national institution, the cost should be largely borne by the Christian community, with the state providing the land and initial funding to get the project off the ground,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo stated that countries like France, Italy and America that have built such great facilities did not wait until they had satisfaction with their basic needs like roads, bridges, schools, hospitals among others.
“Looking through the history of all the great cathedrals of the world, there has never been, what can be called, an appropriate time to build a cathedral. Invariably, it has taken many years, sometimes centuries to complete,” he added.
The President stressed: “The National Cathedral in Washington DC took 83 years to complete; it took 150 years to build St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and it took 182 years to finish the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris;
“Indeed, the reigning medieval monarchs of the time made significant contributions towards the construction of Notre Dame in Paris, and, in the case of the Basilica, construction began and was completed during the era of the Papacy’s greatest temporal power, again in medieval times,” he explained.
Quoting Ecclesiastes chapter 11:4 to buttress his point the President said “If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never sow anything and never harvest anything.”
He was, therefore, hopeful that the Christian community in Ghana, Africa and abroad, will rise up to the challenge, and join in the fundraising for the construction of the Cathedral.
He said he does not envisage that this project will take a century to complete like the great historical cathedrals of the world because Technology has transformed building methods dramatically, and he is certain that, “if the Christian community accepts the challenge, we shall construct this cathedral and quickly. Once completed, its value will be obvious to all.”
He also gave the assurance that the funds raised for the building of the National Cathedral will be treated with the sacred trust that they deserve, with transparency and accountability.
He noted: “Just as the building of the Temple of Solomon was an epoch-making event not only in Israel but also in the whole world, we believe the building of the National Cathedral is an epochal event not only in Ghana but also in the rest of Africa. Thus, although the National Cathedral was envisaged for Ghana, we have included elements to make it relevant to the African church.”