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Anglophone protest: Catholic priest lambasts Episcopal Conference, francophone Christians

Father Ludovic Lado

 

Father Ludovic Lado has criticised the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon for remaining mute in the face of the ongoing protests in the North West and South West regions. He says most Christians find it easy to carry crosses on their necks for spiritual protection but would not carry their real crosses.

Father Ludovic Lado, a Catholic Jesuit priest in a write-up published online in French, criticised the national episcopal conference for not taking a stand and also for failing to propose solutions to the on-going crisis in the North West and South West regions. The Jesuit priests who says he has never hidden his support for the on-going revolution in English-speaking Cameroon, says the silence of the church has made him to wonder whether he missed his call to have chosen to be a Catholic priest.

“When they arrested Anglophone protest leaders including a Supreme Court judge and forced others into exile, my church stayed quiet. When they deprived the North West and South West regions of the internet for more than two months, my church stayed quiet. When I reflect on myself being a clergy of this church, I wonder whether I am not in the wrong church! Are we really serving Christ who died at the age of 33 because of truth and justice? Are we really following him? I doubt! I wonder what it means to be a Christian; a disciple of Christ in Cameroon today” writes Father Ludovic Lado.

He says he supports federalism because decentralisation has failed. He said he is waiting to be arrested by security forces since everyone who shares the same school of thought as the detained protest leaders is hunted down and jailed. He recalls the government of Cameroon “which is not accustomed to dialogue”, began dialoguing with leaders of the protest but failed.

He says it is after the failure that government embarked on “the systematic arrests” and detention of Anglophone elite. He also bemoaned the fact that the charges (terrorism, rebellion, insurrection etc) levied on the leaders, “some of whom are internationally respected lawyers” liken them to Boko Haram.

To Father Lado, the indifference of the Episcopal conference and Christians in francophone regions to the sufferings of fellow Cameroonians does not speak well of them. He questioned what they will be celebrating soon in the name of the passion and resurrection of Christ which to him represents freedom and truth, when they cannot stand for same.

The reverend father also questions whether the episcopal conference decided to disavow the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference which issued a memo to President Biya on the Anglophone Problem, or the body which speaks for the catholic clergy opted for secret diplomatic talks with government. He says if the council decided to negotiate secretly with government, he awaits the fruits of the negotiations.

Noting that he may be sanctioned for speaking about the ongoing crisis, the priest says he felt it is his duty just as it is a duty for every Cameroonian to support the ongoing protest, which to him, is of national interest. “It is an issue of national unity and integration”, he wrote.

The outspoken priest in the write-up, repeatedly criticised Catholic Christians currently observing lent. He said there will be no need for Christians to go to church every Friday for the “station of the cross” if they can consider real live situations as station of the cross. He questioned whether it would not only be pretence and folkloric for Christians to celebrate the sufferings of Christ on Good Friday when they failed to share in the suffering of their fellow countrymen.

As regards the on-going trail, the reverend father questioned rhetorically why leaders of the protests are still held in prisons when government has admitted that their demands were valid. He buttressed his argument by stating that President Biya recently ordered the creation of a Common Law section of the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM and faculties of Common Law in some state universities.

Fr Ludovic Lado, reiterated the fact that Christians would simply be pretentiously taking part in a religious ritual on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, if they cannot share in the pain of their fellow citizens in the Anglophone regions.



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