On visit to Rome: Cameroon Bishops, Pope Francis discuss lingering Anglophone crisis.

Bishops of Cameroon have held talks with Pope Francis over the raging armed conflict in the North West and South West Regions of the country.

This was during a visit of the religious leaders to Rome, Italy. It was His Grace, Andrew Nkea, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bamenda who doubles as President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, NECC, who led the delegation of Catholic clergymen to Rome.

The visit, a statement issued at the end of their sojourn said, fell within the tradition of the Catholic Church that requires that every five years, every Catholic residential Diocesan Bishop and other Bishops within an Episcopal Conference visit the thresholds of the tombs of Apostles Peter and Paul, and meet the Pope to report on the state of their Dioceses.

Details of the Bishops’ discussions with the Pope were not immediately made known but the statement said the talks bordered on matters affecting the life of the Catholic Church in Cameroon.

It was the first time the church leaders were holding talks with Pope Francis over the armed conflict in the two Anglophone Regions.

However, Pope Francis has regularly commented and prayed for peace to return to the ravaged Anglophone Regions.

Meanwhile, during their visit to Rome, which ended over the weekend, the Bishops of Cameroon, under the leadership of His Grace, Andrew Nkea, discussed matters affecting the life of the Catholic Church in Cameroon.

The discussions, a statement seen by The Guardian Post, said focused on “the Pastoral life of the Church, the formation of priests and catechists, immigration, the upcoming Synod on Synodality interreligious dialogue, the situation of the socio-political and economic crisis that our country, Cameroon, has been going through, and the security situation of the world at large”.

“For his part, the Holy Father promised to continue to pray for peace in our country and assured the Bishops of his closeness to the people of Cameroon,” the statement added.

During their visit, the Bishops of Cameroon had also celebrated Masses at the major churches of Rome, including St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Peter's Basilica, during which they visited and prayed at the tombs of St. Paul and St. Peter and made the profession of faith at the tomb of Peter. 

They also went round many of the Dicasteries and discussed with officials of the various departments and offices in the Roman Curia.

On the closing day of the visit, the Bishops were welcomed at Collegio Urbano, by Cameroonians, priests, religious and lay faithful, living in Rome and elsewhere in Italy.

“The Bishops of Cameroon expressed their deep gratitude to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for the cordial and fatherly welcome that he gave them, and to the Cardinal Prefects and the officials of the various Dicasteries, for the enlightenment and updates given them during their working visit to their offices. They are also deeply appreciative of the warm welcome accorded them by Ambassador of Cameroon to the Holy See and to the Republic of Italy, respectively, and the general community of Cameroonians living in Rome, and in Italy,” the statement said. 

“To the Association of Cameroonian Priests and Religious resident in Rome, the Bishops remain indebted for generously sacrificing their time and means to be with them, to pray with them and to accompany them throughout their stay in Rome,” the Bishops continued.



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