Bishops of Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference, BAPEC, have in a correspondence, following the 69th edition of their meeting, called for pastoral unity in Buea Diocese, after observing the turmoil which followed an administrative transfer at the Catholic University Institute of Buea, CUIB.
In their letter, the Bishops stated that within the context of their meeting, they noted with regret, “The sad events that have characterised the last couple of months in the Diocese of Buea, regarding some administrative acts posited by the legitimate Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese, His Lordship Michael Miabesue Bibi.”
The men of God regretted that the issue, “led to unimaginable acts of wanton disobedience of ecclesiastical authority that even resulted in civil lawsuits in which Christians, Priests and Religious were involved. We, the Bishops of BAPEC, do not only condemn such disobedience and damage caused to the local Church, but also express complete solidarity with our brother Bishop, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buea. We also call on all the Priests, Religious Men and Women and all Christ’s Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Buea to pledge and express their unflinching support to their “protem” legitimate Chief Shepherd, whose governance of the Church of Buea is greatly esteemed ecclesiastically. We call on those trying to destabilise the Church of Buea and calumnise the Bishops of our Province to desist from such demonic acts, repent of their sins and ask God for his boundless mercy.” The Bishops stated.
The Apostolic Administrator of Buea, His Lordship Michael Bibi on Thursday, June 11 appointed Professor Victor Julius Ngoh, to replace Reverend Father George Nkeze as President and Pro-Chancellor of the Catholic University Institute of Buea. Rev. Fr. Nkeze, who is a priest under Buea Diocese, and the Bishop, rather challenged the authority of the Bishop to meddle in CUIB affairs.
The priest later on dragged his Bishop to court, for relieving him from his post at CUIB. The issue brought the Catholic Church in Buea under negative spotlight, with critics condemning the displayed chaos in the church. People also took exception to the fact that an internal issue of the church was taken to court, thereby setting a bad precedence, for many people who look up to the church, and would rather take their issues to the church for an amicable settlement, rather than court fights.