Mgr. Joseph Akonga Essomba’s sweeping homily at the Requiem Mass of late Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Bala of Bafia stirred consternation among mourners.
The mourners were stunned when Mgr. Essomba equivocally stated that the assailants of Bishop Bala were present in church, pretending to be weeping even more than the bereaved.
“The hypocrites responsible for the evil killings of our colleagues are here present and pretending to be sympathizers and well wishers. They are struggling to destroy the church from within,” Mgr. Essomba declared.
The Preacher re-echoed the declaration initially made by the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, NEC, that the late Bishop of Bafia was brutally murdered.
Mgr. Essomba was speaking on Wednesday, August 2, while delivering a homily at the late Bishop’s Requiem Mass at the Our Lady of Victory Cathedral, Yaounde.
Thousand of Christians and mourners who had thronged the Cathedral premises to pay their last respects to the fallen Prelate, were touched by the preacher’s revelation as tears oozed out of their eyes.
Mgr. Essomba lamented over the death of their colleague, friend, brother and an astute man of God.
He said life is a precious gift from God and no one has the right to take it away.
He rhetorically questioned who was behind the wicked killings of the Catholic leaders in Cameroon.
“Who is killing the priests in this country? How does the Catholic Church disturb you? Who is measuring shoulders with God in this country?” he quipped.
The priest stated that though he might not know exactly what happened, the night Bishop Bala disappeared; he had a strong revelation that something fishy took place.
Mgr. Essomba’s declaration is contrary to the declarations made by the Government prosecutor who had stated in a press release that drowning was the probable cause of the Bishop’s death.
Mgr. Essomba rubbished the aforementioned Government’s autopsy results on the Prelate’s death.
“Bishop Bala was an excellent swimmer who could swim kilometres within minutes even in the sea.”
The Priest said no matter the evil plans against the men and women of God, the Catholic Church shall always remain very strong and objective.
It will not crumble for it is built on a foundation of Jesus Christ, who is the truth and the light.
He insisted that real power promotes peace and is void of violence and destruction.
Speaking to reporters, Bishop Andrew Nkea of Mamfe said “the reason why Mgr. Bala was killed is the same reason why Jesus Christ was killed.”
When asked what the Bishops intend to do with the assassins of their colleague, His Grace Samuel Kleda, Archbishop of Douala and President of the NEC, told the press that they have handed over their case to the law for justice to take its course. “for we are in a State of law,” he said.
To Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua of Bamenda, “the Bishops are still waiting for the results of the findings following Bala’s death.”
Jean Marie Benoit Bala started his journey of no return on August 2, when his corpse was removed from the Yaounde General Hospital Mortuary. He was buried August 3 in Bafia after funeral Masses.
Late Bishop Bala was born on May 10, 1959, in Oweng. After his primary and secondary education, he got into the seminary and was ordained priest on June 20, 1987 in Yaounde by late Archbishop Jean Zoa.
He was appointed Bishop of Bafia on May 3, 2003, and became the ordained Bishop of the same Diocese on July 12 same year.
The Post Newspaper