The tension is likely to mount in the next few days in Bafia, the birthplace of Bishop Jean-Marie Bénoît Bala who died last June in unclearized circumstances. Officers of Cameroon’s judicial police have, in fact, forced the religious community of the Cathedral of San Sebastián of Bafia, to receive the body of the bishop according to a statement of the parish priest.
According to the statement, the officers threatened and intimidated members of the administration of the cathedral in the absence of the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese to sign a discharge of receipt of the body.
“The priest of the Cathedral of San Sebastian (martyr) of Bafia warns those individuals presenting themselves as senior officers of the Cameroonian Judicial Police who, in his absence yesterday, attempted by unfair and intimidating maneuvers to have a receipt discharge signed of the body of Bishop JMB BALA for burial to one of his vicars, in the name of the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese “says the Abbot Jean-Aimé Amougou in the statement taken by our colleagues of the site lecourrierducameroun.com.
He also urged all priests and all faithful to extreme vigilance, while drawing the attention of the Cameroonian police forces on “these scandalous usurpations.”
“He therefore promises divine anger and punishment proportional to any other kind of slippage for anyone who would still risk it, until the 4th generation! “The statement said.
It should be pointed out that the National Conference of Bishops of Cameroon, in a communiqué made public earlier this week, had laid a formal identification of his body as a precondition for the reception of Bishop Bala’s body.
“The authorities of the Catholic Church did not receive the body of Bishop Bala. They are waiting for this to be done after the identification of the body, “the statement said.
The document also stated that the bishops maintained their position that Bishop Bala was indeed murdered contrary to the theory of drowning death, which was concluded by the prosecutor at the Yaounde Court of Appeal, Jean-Fils Ntamack.
“The certainty of the bishops rests among other things on the fact that the body they saw and recognized on the edge of the Sanaga and which was the remains of Bishop Bala carried signs of violence,” the statement said.