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Priests Pledge To Tackle Catholic Exodus 

By Mirabel Etta & Sylvester Atemnkeng — Priests of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province have resolved to find out why Catholic Christians leave the faith for other churches and try to resolve the problem.

This was one of the three main issues the Association of Cameroonian Priests of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province handled during their meeting, which held from Tuesday, July 16, to Thursday 18, at the SONEL school in Ombe, Southwest Region. The meeting took place at a time when many Catholic Christians are abandoning their faith for Pentecostal churches and other sects in search of instant miracles and revolutionary gospel messages.

The issue has raised concern among Priests in recent times. Thus, according to the Chairperson of the Association, Rev. Fr. John Ambe, who chaired the Ombe meeting, they sought to find out what the problem was and how to solve it. The over 200 priests who assembled for the once in two years meeting also discussed how to promote peace and unity among themselves and the laity.

The meeting held under the theme “Contemporary Priests Living within Their Time without Losing their Identity”. “One of the reasons of this meeting is to come together as one, pick up topics and research on, to enhance our work as Priests and messengers of the Gospel. We study and bring up things which can help us do our work,” Fr Ambe said.

To him, there should be communion among priests, because pastoral work and evangelism entail unity. “Thus, there is that call for fraternity among priests, owing to the biblical reference that the Lord sent his Apostles two by two,” he said. After the meeting, the priests of the about 40-year-old association pledged to implement the resolutions they arrived.

Rev. Fr. Marcel Kofon, newly appointed Rector of Fotabong Minor Seminary, said: “When we go back to our various Dioceses, we will hold meetings to see how we can implement the resolutions taken. As an individual, I will live what is expected of me as a collaborative ministry with my Bishop, fellow Priests and Christians.” For his part, Fr. Roland Berngeh, Vicar General of the Diocese of Kumbo, said with the help of God, the objectives of the meeting will be met. “With the implementation of these objectives, priests will be brought to the right track,” Fr. Berngeh stated.

“These objectives stimulate us to respond to some ideals which are particular and when we respond they become general,” Fr Ernest Timchia, Vice Rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary Bambui, said. “We will work together to form a family. I have to understand the deep meaning of the cross and offer myself as sacrifice everyday to the people. We can never be successful, but we can only be faithful,” Fr. Timchia said.
*(UB & National Polytechnic Bamenda Journalism Students on Internship)

First published in The Post print edition no 01449

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