Diocesan Pastoral Council in Cameroon Lauds Bishop for Focusing on Growth amid Attacks

Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi of Cameroon’s Catholic Diocese of Buea. Credit: Catholic Diocese of Buea

Social media attacks have trailed the leadership of Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi from the time he ascended to the helm of Cameroon’s Catholic Diocese of Buea, first as Apostolic Administrator in December 2019.  Bishop Bibi has, however, chosen to look the other way and focus on development of his Episcopal See, members of the Diocese’s Pastoral Council have said.

In their Thursday, February 29 message of solidarity with Bishop Bibi, the Diocesan Pastoral Council members of Buea Diocese say they had realized “with dismay” the attacks against their Local Ordinary. 

“We, members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council representing the People of God in the Diocese, pledge our unwavering support to you, His Lordship Michael Bibi as Bishop of the Diocese of Buea,” the Pastoral Council members say in the statement that was shared with ACI Africa.

They add, “We… have realized with dismay, the incessant attacks on your person and by extension on the Diocese on the social Media, perpetuated by some individuals or groups, who take delight in sowing seeds of discord within the Diocese. We strongly condemn these activities.”

“We appreciate your graceful leadership Your Lordship, that in spite of all the distractions on social media, you have focused on the spiritual growth and the diverse developmental projects of the Diocese, for that we are proud about the work you do,” they further say. 


Attacks against Bishop Bibi started when, as Apostolic Administrator, he made administrative changes at the Diocese-owned Catholic University Institute of Buea (CUIB) by appointing Prof. Victor Julius Ngoh as Vice Chancellor, a position that was previously held by Fr. George Nkeze Jingwa. 

Members of the University Council disapproved of the administrative change and dragged Bishop Bibi to court. Since then, the Cameroonian Bishop, who started his Episcopal Ministry in March 2017 as Auxiliary Bishop of Cameroon’s Bamenda Archdiocese has been barraged with criticisms and attacks, including social media posts by one, Nchumbonga George Lekelefac.

While marking one year since he took canonical possession of Buea Diocese in February 2022, the Local Ordinary of Buea lamented about the attacks against him, saying the negative sentiments were “signs of total interference” in the governance of his Episcopal See.

In his homily during the anniversary on 25 February 2022, Bishop Bibi made reference to attacks on him, saying they were part of a plot aimed at tarnishing his image and reputation as the Local Ordinary of the Catholic Diocese of Buea.

Earlier this year, Bishop Bibi was forced to prohibit his predecessor, Bishop Emmanuel B. Bushu, who retired from the pastoral care of Buea Diocese in December 2019, from celebrating or concelebrating Holy Mass in public in the Cameroonian Episcopal See.

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In a letter that was circulated on January 7, Bishop Bibi cited “deep opposition and interference” as some of the reasons behind the prohibition.

“From the very beginning of my mission in the Diocese of Buea … I have had to live through the unhappy reality of deep opposition and interference from you, that has even led you to the screen media to make this opposition public,” Bishop Bibi stated, expressing his awareness of Bishop Bushu’s limitless “trips to the Nunciature and to Rome against my decisions over certain important sectors of the Diocese.”

“The present state of affairs indicates a total absence of communion between us, which makes you ready to align yourself with persons and groups that seek to bring down my administration,” the 52-year-old Cameroonian Catholic Bishop said.

Various Catholic Church groups have come out strongly to support Bishop Bibi amid the attacks, including the Vatican though the Apostolic Nunciature in Cameroon.

On 14 February 2022, Catholic Bishops in Cameroon’s Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province expressed their “solidarity and communion” with their colleague, Bishop Bibi, describing the attacks against him as “gross disrespect of the hierarchy of the Church”.


Members of the Clergy of Buea Diocese termed the attacks an unfortunate “smear campaign” in their statement issued on 22 November 2023.

Last month, on February 9, members of the Catholic Men Association (CMA) in Buea Diocese also expressed their awareness of “the plans of the distractors of the Diocese in bringing your leadership down and to misguide the people of God in this Diocese.”

“We are also well grounded on the spreading of false information about your administration since 2019 when you were still the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buea,” CMA members said.

In their February 29 statement, members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council of Buea have expressed their satisfaction with the mechanism that their award-winning Bishop has put in place to control the resources “through transparency and accountability.”

“We urge you My Lord, to continue your efforts in fostering nothing but peace, communion, active participation of the people of God in the mission of evangelization and in the development of the Diocese,” they have stated.

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Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.