Sunday, March 12, 2023

“We strongly condemn his murder”: Catholic Bishop in Cameroon on Gallican Church Priest

The Catholic Bishop of Obala Diocese in Cameroon has expressed his solidarity with the Gallican church following the murder of one of her Priests, Fr. Olivier Ntsa Ebode.

On March 1, Fr. Ntsa was reportedly kidnapped and later murdered by unidentified men, various media reported. He was reportedly lured out of his house at night by men asking him to come and minister to a sick family member. 

In a statement issued Wednesday, March 8, Bishop Sosthène Léopold Bayemi Matjei condemns the murder of the Cameroonian priest and demands that his killers be brought to justice.

“We learned with sorrow the heinous assassination in Obala of Fr. Olivier Ntsa Ebode, Priest of another Christian community,” Bishop Bayemi says in his message shared with ACI Africa.

He adds, “Although this brother in humanity was not a Priest of the Diocese of Obala, much less of the Roman Catholic Church, we strongly condemn his murder and hope that his killers will be found and brought to justice in our country.”

The Cameroonian Catholic Bishop further says, “The Church remains committed to the fight for the respect of life which is sacred and inviolable from its conception to its natural end.”

He expresses “sincere condolences and compassion to his natural and religious families.”

“May our prayers and affection accompany this brother to heaven,” Bishop Bayemi says in his March 8 message shared with ACI Africa.

Local media in Cameroon have reported that Fr. Ntsa was known for his support for peace in his native Central African nation. 

The Gallican church, Apostolic Tradition of Gazinet, founded in 2000, is the heir of the Saint-Louis Association of Worship, founded in France in 1916. It is a church that calls itself Catholic but independent and is not recognized by any church.

It has changed its name several times during its history. It has been called: Gallican church; Catholic Apostolic and Gallican church; French Catholic Apostolic Church; French Catholic church; Traditional Catholic church, Autocephalous Gallican Catholic church, and Gallican Catholic church.

Abroad, several dioceses exist, notably in Portugal, seat in Porto; in the Canary Islands, seat in Tenerife (Santa Ursula); in Cameroon (diocese of Central Africa), seat in Douala; and in Congo Brazzaville.

The first Cameroonian Priest of this church was ordained in August 1987 in Bordeaux, France, and began the implantation of the church in the Central African country.