- Jan 16, 2021
For most of his 37 years in power, Robert Mugabe had been the target of severe criticism from the country’s Catholic bishops. But his removal from power by the military on November 14-15 has allowed the bishops to strike a more conciliatory tone. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference said it has forgiven Mugabe for his “transgressions” in office.
Amidst political turmoil in Zimbabwe, the country’s bishops called political leaders “to maintain the best interests of the nation as a priority and continue to work tirelessly for a peaceful end to the crisis and to speedy return to normalcy and Constitutional order.”
As protests in Togo continue against President Faure Gnassingbé, the bishops said they are disturbed the political crisis has “taken an ethnic and religious trend, with the appearance of militias, the flight to exile of many of our compatriots; arrests; repression, the profaning and destruction of a mosque.”
Between 1980 and 2010, the number of African migrants living in Europe doubled, reaching 30.6 million people, according to a 2014 World Bank Report. That figure represented 3 percent of the continent’s total population. The bishops of both continents have proposed ways to stem the immigration tide – especially the “brain drain” of highly educated Africans – which they say will help the development of the African continent.
Catholic bishops in the English-speaking parts of Cameroon have dismissed a new commission looking at bilingualism in the country as a missed opportunity. The minority Anglophone population says it has seen its educational and legal system systematically chipped away by the Francophone majority.
Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Bala of Bafia “did not commit suicide, he was brutally murdered,” the bishops in Cameroon wrote in a statement June 13, calling the perpetrators to justice. The bishop’s body was found in in the Sanaga River, but signs of torture on his body and preliminary autopsies indicate that he was killed.