The Bishops’ Conference of Cameroon demanded a formal identification of the body of Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Bala prior to his burial.
This act of identification which took place this morning is likely to envenom the already tense relationship between the judicial authorities and the Catholic church since the beginning of this case.
According to information received at the editorial office of cameroonweb.com, the body presented this morning to the bishops at the general hospital in Yaounde would not be that of Bishop Jean-Marie Bénoit Bala. The president of the Episcopal Conference bishop Samuel Kleda who made the identification would have refused to accept the remains of Bishop Bala according to our source which also specifies the presence of an important military device at the level of the hospital in Yaounde.
This new rebound would have created a new tension between the archbishop of Douala Mgr Kleda and his colleague of Yaounde Mgr Mbarga who would have left to a scene of dispute on place. It should be remembered that relations between the two prelates were not fixed since the beginning of the Bala affair.
Already in the week, some local media evoked a dissonance of opinion between the two prelates in relation to the results of the investigation opened on the death of Bishop Bala.
“There are two camps in this affair. A camp that categorically opposes the version of suicide evoked by the justice and led by Bishop Kleda. (…) The second line is led by Mgr Mbarga, who shows signs of rapprochement with the state, “reported the daily Le Messager who quoted a priest in one of their publications last week.