Cameroon: Bishops Denounce the Murder of Bishop Bala

Source: FSSPX News

The extraordinary plenary assembly of the bishops of Cameroon ended on June 13, 2017. As a backdrop: the murder of Bishop Benoît Bala, bishop of Bafia, whose lifeless body was found on June 2.

The bishops of Cameroon gathered for an extraordinary plenary assembly at the headquarters of the National Episcopal Conference in Mvolyé on June 13, 2017. At the end of the assembly, they published a statement in which they maintain the theory that the bishop of Bafia was assassinated, while rumors of suicide continue to spread through the country. Other priests and religious have also been assassinated in circumstances that remain unclear, they pointed out. Bishop Balla’s murder is “one too many”.  They have therefore appealed to the Cameroon authorities to fulfill their duty “to protect human life, especially the ecclesiastical authorities”. They also invited the murderers to an “urgent and radical conversion”.

The day after he disappeared, Bishop Bala’s vehicle was seen in an abnormal parking position on the side of the road. On the front passenger seat was a handwritten note on paper with the diocesan heading that read: “I am in the water.” Nothing else.

The president of the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon does not believe this message was written by Bishop Bala. He believes it most certainly is not a suicide, but rather an assassination. He says that what he saw on June 2 when Jean-Marie Benoît Bala’s body was pulled from the Sanaga River proves this: “When someone drowns,” he explained, “the water enters into his body, into his lungs. That was not the case that day.” 

Ever since the prelate disappeared on May 30, there were countless rumors on social media, including the most contradictory allegations, from suicide to premeditated murder in order to avoid the revelation of scandals concerning the Church.

Thus, in the conclusion of their statement, the bishops solemnly addressed the media, asking them to “to renounce defamation, lies, calumnies, and recommend them respect for the dignity of the human person, truth, modesty and discernment in the treatment of certain information”.