Catholic Bishop in Cameroon Says Attacks on Him “total interference” in His Governance

Bishop Michael Bibi during Mass to mark one year since he took canonical possession of Buea Diocese. Credit: Buea Diocese

Bishop Michael Bibi of the Catholic Diocese of Buea in Cameroon has bemoaned recent attacks on him through a variety of communication channels saying the negative sentiments are “signs of total interference” in the governance of his Episcopal See.

In his homily during Holy Mass to mark one year since he took canonical possession of Buea Diocese, Bishop Bibi made reference to attacks on him, saying they are part of a plot aimed at tarnishing his image and reputation as the Local Ordinary of the Cameroonian Diocese.

“We are all aware of the trials that we have experienced as a Diocese within this very short time of my stay here,” Bishop Bibi who served as Apostolic Administrator of Buea Diocese before he was appointed Diocesan Bishop said.

He added during the February 25 event, “The so called many attacks on the person of the Bishop and constituted ecclesiastical authorities over social media, over some newspapers, over some TV stations by clerics, all the staged interviews that were brought out and sent out to the public, are signs of total interference in the governance of the Diocese of Buea.”

In an online petition launched a couple of months ago, Bishop Bibi is described as “an emperor and a tyrant Bishop who has destroyed Catholicism in Buea Diocese.”


A February 12 Facebook narrative by one, Nchumbonga George Lekelefac, highlights the challenges the Cameroonian Catholic Bishop has faced, including the claim that “Bishop Bibi illegally took canonical possession of the Diocese of Buea. Buea Diocese has no Bishop. Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi is a fraud and one day he will be exposed.”

In his homily during the February 25 event, Bishop Bibi said, “It is important for us to note that, what was sent out were all efforts made by the so-called ‘clerics’ to sow seeds of this disunity amongst us in this Diocese.”

“I have been consoled by many clerics, religious and members of Christ faithful, through words of encouragement and support,” the Cameroonian Bishop said.

In the face of the challenges occasioned by the attacks, he went on to say, “We stand together stronger than ever before and confident in the love of God that weathers every storm and comforts us in our afflictions.”

“The common African adage says that stones are thrown only to the tree that bears fruits. A barren tree will never have stones thrown at it,” the Bishop of Buea Diocese further said.

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In June 2020, which serving as Apostolic Administrator of Buea Diocese, Bishop Bibi made changes at the Catholic University Institute of Buea (CUIB). He appointed Professor Julius Ngoh as CUIB Vice Chancellor, a position previously held by Fr. George Nkeze Jingwa, whom the Bishop asked to take a sabbatical leave.

Members of the University Council disapproved of the change and questioning the mandate of Bishop Bibi had in making the changes, dragged him to court.

Pope Francis, through the Vatican-based Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples (Propaganda Fide), clarified the mandate of Bishop Bibi as the Apostolic Administrator of Buea Diocese.

Earlier this month, members of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference (BAPEC) expressed their “solidarity and communion” with Bishop Bibi saying the attacks on him constituted a “gross disrespect of the hierarchy of the Church.”

On February 16, Bishop Bibi “suppressed without exception” six “congregations” that were masquerading as Institutes of Diocesan Right from operating in his Episcopal See.


In his February 25 homily, Bishop Bibi described the decision he took as Apostolic Administrator and later as Bishop of Buea as “mortal sins” haunting him till date.

“As apostolic administrator of Buea Diocese, I did what some consider two mortal sins. The first mortal sin that I committed was the changes I made by replacing the former administration of the Catholic university Institute of Buea. The second mortal sin I committed was the suspension of the lay associations in the diocese of Buea in view of carrying out thorough investigations about them,” Bishop Bibi said.

He continued, “These considered mortal sins have haunted me and are still haunting me today.”

“I would like to use this opportunity to remind all of us that we must stand for the truth and work for the truth at all times, in spite of the challenges we must go through,” the Cameroonian Bishop said, and continued, “If I were asked to take these decisions again, I will take them and even harder.”

The Local Ordinary of Buea Diocese reminded the people of God under his pastoral care that they have “only one Bishop, not two and that the one Bishop is responsible for everything as far as your life is concerned.”

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He urged members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and the Laity of Buea Diocese to stand by him and to “pray for me to do my work.”

“I am not going to give room to any mediocrity in this Diocese and all of those who want to feed fat on the resources of the Church and run the affairs of the Church as their personal properties must be brought to order,” Bishop Bibi said at the occasion of his first anniversary as Bishop of Buea Diocese on February 25. 

He added, “I will not give chances to any disorder in this Diocese and there shall be no untouchables when it comes to the aspect of proper administration of the Diocese in all its ramification.”

The Catholic Church leader who started off his Episcopal Ministry in March 2017 as Auxiliary Bishop of Bamenda Archdiocese in Cameroon underscored the need for commitment to service saying, “Here there is no sitting on the fence when it comes to commitment to serve the people from the Bishop to the laity, all of us must be engaged.”

“We must all have the good of the Church and work according to the laid down principles for the good of the people of God,” he emphasized, and added, “The Bishop is bound to listen to the people, but ultimately the Bishop takes the decision for the good of the Diocese and takes responsibility in the eyes of God.”

He continued, “We must search ourselves and rid ourselves of any form of hatred, gossip, condemnation, judgmental attitudes, envy, blackmailing, and all vices, which do not build up the family of God in our Diocese.”

“Ours is to love one another, to serve one another and we must do so truly and fully, because we are indeed the body of Christ,” the 50-year-old Cameroonian Bishop said, and implored, “Let us pray that our Diocesan family may continue to grow spiritually materially and otherwise, and that we may indeed become one flock under one shepherd.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.