AFRICA/CAMEROON - Bishops on the attack on the Catholic Church: among those who attack the churches there are also members of our communities

Monday, 19 September 2022 area crisis   local churches   kidnappings   international politics  

Mamfe (Agenzia Fides) - The attack on the Catholic church of Saint Mary, in the village of Nchang (diocese of Mamfe) represents an "atrocious act". The perpetrators and instigators of this crime, in whatever country, must repent and abandon the "evil ways" that have placed them in the position of "fighting against God and not against men. And no one fights against God and wins", said the Bishops of the Provincial Bishops' Conference of Bamenda, in the English-speaking region of Cameroon, to the armed militants who last Friday evening, September 16, attacked and set fire to the Catholic, and kidnapped five priests, a nun and three lay people (a catechist, a cook and a young girl). Against the background of years of violence in English-speaking Cameroon, the bishops point out in a joint press release that the attacks on the church communities represent "the new game of struggle" directed against "missionaries who give their lives to work for the people". Such attacks - the Bishops said - affect the Catholic Church as well as the Presbyterian and Baptist Churches, and oddly enough, some of those viciously attacking the churches are people who belong to those churches or have benefited from their generosity."
After learning of the arson attack and the kidnapping of the priests and pastoral workers, Bishop Aloysius Fondong Abangalo of Mamfe made his way to the burned church to take the cross and consecrated hosts kept in the tabernacle.
The Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda includes the Archdiocese of Bamenda, the Dioceses of Kumbo, Kumba, Mamfe and Buea. "What happened", the Bishop said in a video released after his visit to the burned church "is an abomination. Put simply, God has been made to understand that we do not want him in our country." Bishop Abangalo invited all the people of the Diocese of Mamfe to dedicate the Rosary of Reparation throughout the month of October, "for this act of abomination committed in our country."
In the joint communiqué, the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Bamenda also affirm their prayer "for the forgiveness of the guilty, as did Christ who prayed on the cross: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 19/9/2022)