The Bishops of Cameroon met in an extraordinary General Assembly at the headquarters of the National Episcopal Conference in Mvolyé, Yaoundé, on Tuesday, June 13 2017. At the end of this assembly, the Bishops made the following declarations:
a difficult and delicate moment in its history and mission. Indeed, on the
morning of Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the car of His Lordship, Bishop Jean Marie
Benoît BALA, Bishop of Bafia, was in
an abnormal parking position on the Bridge over Sanaga River, at Ebebda,
in the direction of Bafia. The
Bishop was said to be missing.
made public, civil, religious and administrative authorities went down to the
scene. Following the indication of a strange found in the front seat of the
car, next to his identity card and personal documents, the Fire brigade was
ordered to search the body of the bishop in the river. The search continued
till the morning of June 2, 2017 when the corpse of the Bishop was found by a
fisherman few kilometres from the Ebebda
bridge at a place called Tsang. The corpse was brought to the bank of the river
by the elements of the defense force. The corpse was identified by His Excellency,
Archbishop Piero Pieppo, Apostolic
Nuncio to Cameroon, Archbishop Samuel Kleda,
President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, and Archbishop Jean
Mbarga of Yaoundé, in the presence of civil
and administrative authorities, including the Governor of Central Region. The
mortal remains were taken to Yaoundé General Hospital.
message of condolence were addressed to the faithful of the Diocese of Bafia
and to the natural family of the deceased Bishop by the President of the
National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon and the Archbishop of Yaoundé.
custody of the judicial authorities who are investigating the circumstances,
the exact cause and the perpetrator of this heinous and inadmissible crime.
5. The tragic death of Bishop Jean Marie Benoît BALA has shocked and upset the People
of God, all Cameroonians and international opinion. From the initial findings,
we the Bishops of Cameroon, affirm that His lordship Jean Marie Benoît BALA did
not commit suicide; he was brutally assassinated. This is one more murder, and
one far too much.
pther prelates, members of clergy and consecrated persons, whose assassination,
under similar circumstances, has never been explained up to this dau. We are
thinking of his grace Archbishop Yves PLUMEY
(Ngaoundéré – 1991), Rev. Father Joseph MBASSI
(Yaoundé – 1988), Rev. Father Antony FONTEGH
(Kumbo-1990), Rev. Sisters of Djoum
(in 1992), Rev. Father Engelbert MVENG,
just to name a few.
strongly feel that the clergy in Cameroon are particularly persecuted by some obscure
and devilish forces.
We the The Bishops demand
That all the circumstances and the motives of the assassination of the Bishop
Bishop Jean Marie Benoît BALA be clarified and be made known.
That the culprits be identified by name and be brought before the law in order that
justice may take its course.
the State should assume its bounden duty of protecting human life and
particularly the lives of the ecclesiastical Authorities. to protect human
life, especially the ecclesiastical authorities.
The Bishops also expect and await the official conclusion of the
To the murderers,
Bishops are praying for them and demand that they embark on a process of urgent
and radical conversion.
women and users of social network:
and calumny. On the other hand, they recommend the respect for human dignity,
truth, sense of decency, and discernment in the treatment of information
of the missing Bishop, To all the population of Ebebda amd its suroundings:
Bishops thank them for sparing no effort in the search for the mortal remains of
the Bishop, even at the risk of their own life.
family of Bishop Jean Marie Benoît BALA,
Bishops bear with you the grief of this sad disappearance. Let not your faith
fail! Intensify you’re your effort in the Eucharist celebrations, in the
praying for your Pastors and for peace and justice in our country.
of Sorrows, Patroness of Cameroon, accompany us in this difficult moment of
at Yaounde, on 13 June 2017
the Bishops of Cameroon
of the NCPC