Most Rev Palmer-Buckle transferred to Cape Coast Catholic Archdiocese

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle
Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle

Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra has been transferred to the Cape Coast Archdiocese, the oldest Catholic Archdiocese in Ghana.

It followed the resignation of Archbishop Mathias Nketsiah of Cape Coast.

A communique issued by the Apostolic Nunciature of the Catholic Church in Accra on Friday said: "His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Grace Archbishop Mathias Nketsiah of Cape Coast and has appointed His Grace Most Rev Charles Palmer-Buckle as the new Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cape Coast."

"The news is released from the Apostolic Nunciature by His Excellency Most Rev. Jean Marie Speich, the Apostolic Nuncio,

At a press conference, the Executive Secretary at the Department of Social Communications at the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), Rev. Fr Dieu-Donne Kofi Davor, said the Archbishop of every diocese was supposed to retire at age 75 and with that in mind the person in question needed to remind the Pope in writing a year before his 75th birthday, to set the processes in place for a replacement.

He added that although the Apostolic Nuncio could recommend a person to the Vatican as an Archbishop, such a recommendation could be accepted upon a background investigation on the person recommended.

According to Rev. Fr Davor, this was the first time in Ghana that an Archbishop had been appointed to head another archdiocese and with that Archbishop Palmer-Buckle would only be installed as the new Archbishop of Cape Coast.

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Cape Coast Archbishop Mathias Kobena Nketsiah resigns

His Grace Archbishop Mathias Kobena Nketsiah, 76, was installed as the Archbishop of Cape Coast in June 2010.

Born on April 14,  1942, he was ordained as a priest in Cape Coast in 1970.

He was ordained as the Titular Bishop of Abaradira in 2007, and appointed Apostolic Administrator of Sekondi-Takoradi in 2011, but ceased occupying the post in 2014.

Most Rev Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle

Now 67, the Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle (born 15 June 1950 in Axim, Ghana), is a former teacher and a key figure in the political scene in Ghana.

He is the second Ghanaian native to become Archbishop of Accra. Installed in 2005, he became the 4th Ordinary for Accra since its establishment as a diocese. He was also the first Bishop of Koforidua.

He was educated at the Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary in Ghana and at the Pontifical Urban University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in Philosophy and another in Sacred Theology. He also holds a Doctorate Degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.

He had also been a chaplain and teacher at both the Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary and at Achimota School.

He was ordained a priest on 12 December 1976 in Accra, appointed as Bishop of Koforidua on 6 July 1992, consecrated on 6 January 1993 and appointed as an Archbishop of Accra on 28 May 2005.

From 1994 to 2004 he served as the Bishop-Chairman for the Department of Socio-Economic Development of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference in Ghana, and from 1995 to 2003 was President of Caritas Africa Region and First Vice President of Caritas International, a federation of 198 member-organizations in 154 countries all over the world with headquarters in the Vatican City.

He was appointed the first Bishop of the newly created diocese of Koforidua in 1992 and on 30 March 2005, he became the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra.

He was a member of the nine-member National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) from May 2002 to October 2004 whose stated mission was to bring truth and reconciliation in Ghana after human rights abuses and atrocities.

He has remained vocal in the political scene of Ghana and Africa on issues including political violence and homosexuality.