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Catholic church bows to pressure, receive Bishop Bala’s corpse

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Archbishop Samuel Kleda, President of the Episcopal Conference of Bishops of Cameroon and other bishops have received the mortal remains of Bishop Jean Benoit Bala whom the Catholic church insists was “brutally assassinated.”

Bishop Kleda was accompanied to the mortuary of the Yaounde General Hospital by Bishop Jean Mbarga of Yaounde and Bishop Kome, apostolic administrator of the Bafia Diocese as well as relatives of the deceased bishop. They proceeded to the identification of the corpse, in the presence of the attorney general of the Yaounde court of appeal.

It should be noted that the Catholic Church is currently at daggers-drawn with the government of Cameroon. While the government is trying to propagate a controversial autopsy which suggests Bishop Bala committed suicide by drowning, the Catholic Church, through Archbishop Samuel Kleda President of the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon Bishops, maintains he was murdered by “dark forces” which he says are fighting the church.

Last week, Rev. Jean-Aimé Amougou, Parish Priest of the Saint Sebastian Cathedral in Bafia issued a communique which suggested that government was mounting pressure on the Catholic Church to collect the mortal remains of their deceased prelate for burial. The said communique, said a group of persons presented themselves at the Cathedral as state security officers and tried to force one of the priests in his jurisdiction to sign a document attesting that the church has received the dead body of Bishop Bala.

At the weekend, the attorney general of the Yaounde court of appeal issued a not, asking the apostolic administrator of the Bafia diocese to ensure that the corpse be retrieved from the morgue of the Yaounde general hospital for burial. We had earlier gathered that the mortal remains of the prelate whom the church insists was “brutally murdered” were supposed to be buried last weekend at the end of the conclave of Bishops of Central Africa. But the burial, was again cancelled for a second time on instructions from the Vatican.


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