Catholics Establishing “Ex-Gay” Clinics in Ghana, Says Archbishop

Archbishop Philip Naameh

One of Ghana’s top bishops has announced the creation of conversion therapy facilities, which the bishop is alleged to have said that this initiative will help stop homosexuality from causing Ghana to become a Muslim-majority nation.

The comments by Archbishop Philip Naameh of Tamale, who serves as president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, were reported by Joy Online and CNN. Naameh stated that the church treats homosexuality as a medical condition and, as such, it can be treated with medical interventions. Joy Online’s report continued:

“‘We also think that this is also not just anti, we have put out there, a holistic treatment for people who are already involved in gay, to treat them because some of them are already experiencing hormonal imbalances and that is pushing them there,’ [Naameh] said.

“He also argued that homosexuality is not a way of life; therefore, ‘anytime they decide, they should know that we are committed to treating them and making them normal human beings to engage in normal sexual and family relationships, so we are concerned about the health and welfare of the people.’

“The Archbishop explained that a crack team of experts have been identified to help those who admit they need treatment without exposing their identity.”

In dispute are alleged comments by Naameh about why he is so concerned about homosexuality in the country. Ghana Web reported about additional comments by the archbishop, who seems to believe lesbian and gay people only exist among Christians:

“[Naameh] holds that embracing same-sex relations in Ghana could give Muslims the chance to outgrow Christians in the country and thus establish themselves as the most dominant religion. . .

“‘Those who are promoting gays and lesbians are not going to have children at all, and within a short time nobody should be surprised that Muslims will become a majority in this country and declare it an Islamic state,” Archbishop Philip Naameh. . .told CNN.”

Naameh claimed in a press release that the comments about a Muslim takeover were misreported, saying “the statement attributed to me is false” and that the reporting of it seeks to “court disaffection and break the force of formidable coalition behind the bill,” according to Joy Online.

Yesterday, Bondings 2.0 reported on the Ghanaian bishops’ support for proposed legislation that would further criminalize LGBTQ people as well as any advocacy in support of them. The legislation could mean LGBTQ people face up to five years in prison simply for their identity.

If true, the announcement that Catholic leaders are actively promoting conversion therapy, indeed establishing facilities where it can occur is deeply condemnable. Archbishop Naameh misrepresents magisterial teaching, which does not treat homosexuality as a medical condition, and defies Pope Francis, who has expressed concerns with “ex-gay” practices. Even if church teaching disapproves of same-gender sexual activity, there is absolutely no basis for the violation of human rights, especially in the forms of conversion therapy and criminalization.

To repeat yesterday’s blog commentary, Pope Francis and Vatican officials need to reject in strong terms the Ghanian bishops’ anti-LGBTQ statements and actions as inconsistent with church teaching and practice.

Since 2015, Catholics have been asking Pope Francis to condemn anti-LGBTQ criminalization through New Ways Ministry’s #PopeSpeakOut campaign. If you would like to contact the pope about Ghana’s bishops, you can find information on how to do so here.

To contact Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development who is from Ghana, email [email protected].

For New Ways Ministry’s full list of resources on anti-LGBTQ criminalization, including a chronology of Catholic leaders’ positive and negative statements on the issue, click here.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, October 13, 2021

8 replies
  1. Duane Sherry
    Duane Sherry says:

    I don’t see a *catholic* (universal) church–not when the hierarchy totally disregards the pope, catechism, and more importantly, the teachings of Jesus.

    As far as what’s taking place in Ghana, Bishop Paprocki may have met his match. Disgusting.

  2. Duane Sherry
    Duane Sherry says:

    To clarify:
    The catechism gets it wrong with falsely claiming homosexual individuals are “intrinsically disordered,” but calls for treating *all* people (including LBGTQ individuals) with dignity and respect.

  3. Thomas Ellison
    Thomas Ellison says:

    It appears that the bishop is using LGBT people in a proxy war of supremacy . Christians vs Muslims. And, his ” crack team” will identify the “gays” to be “treated” for this “medical condition”. Terrifying. The Vatican should issue cease and desist orders.

  4. Glenn Slocum
    Glenn Slocum says:

    Dear Robert,
    Thank you for this timely and excellent call to mount strong public opposition to this horrible move by the Ghana Bishops. I have already taken advantage of the link you provided to send a message to the Pope urging him to issue a strong statement of opposition to the Bishops’ statement, and to condemn it as non-Christian. I am not optimistic of the effectiveness of my message, but something is better than nothing.
    I know Ghana well and have worked and lived there from time to time. The homophobia has increased over the years. When secretary of state Hillary Clinton, made a speech at the UN Human Rights Commission in 2011 stating that “human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights” this elicited powerful anti-LGBTQ reactions in Ghana, both in the press and in churches.
    On Cardinal Turkson, a Ghanaian and former archbishop of Accra, he is on record as being totally opposed to gay rights, so I think to contact him is useless.
    Here is my question for NWM: if the Vatican does not publicly react to the Ghana Bishops’ statement of yesterday, what other avenues of opposition remain to us?

    Thank you again for this piece.


    Glenn Slocum

    • Robert Shine, Managing Editor
      Robert Shine, Managing Editor says:

      Thanks for your input about Ghana. You’re likely correct about Cardinal Turkson, although he is on record opposing criminalization at least so there’s my hope (link to the story below).

      In terms of opposition beyond seeking a papal intervention, I would suggest writing to the apostolic nuncio to Ghana, Henryk Jagodziński. The best addresses I could find are (email) [email protected] and (postal) P.O. Box 9675 Airport, Airport Residential Area, 8 Drake Avenue, Accra, Ghana.

      I would also suggest as someone from the U.S. writing to the nunciature here. The nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, is very much a Pope Francis-oriented prelate. The email for the nunciature is listed as [email protected].

      Finally, although this is not my area of expertise, I think contacting U.S. government officials (State Department, ambassador to Ghana, etc.) and your legislators (assuming their amenable to the cause) could help put U.S. pressure on Ghana to address the laws themselves, even if there isn’t much recourse regarding the bishops.

      I don’t know how much any of this helps. It is a challenging intervention to seek. But at least we don’t remain silent in the face of these wrongs.

      Turkson article:

    DON E SIEGAL says:

    On Archbishop Philip Naameh

    It would seam the archbishop believes in the Christian Replacement Conspiracy. He also fails to recognize that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. They just have different images of who and what God is. How his support of “conversion therapy” fits into this mix is a mystery to me. What is clear is that he is not teaching Catholic beliefs or the gospel values of Jesus. Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith must publicly rebuke Naameh for his heresy.

  6. Glenn Slocum
    Glenn Slocum says:

    Bob, as a follow-up to this news and my comment yesterday. does NWM have a way of monitoring official statements coming from the Vatican? I am very interested to know if the Vatican issues an official response to what the Ghana bishops have done.


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