Model Ministry Upon Jesus’ Humility, Catholic Archbishop in Cameroon to Clergy

Catholic Bishops in procession during the olden Jubilee of St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary Bambui (STAMS) on 1 Dcember 2023. Credit: Bamenda Archdiocese

Members of the Clergy are to model their ministry upon the humility of Jesus Christ, the Archbishop of Cameroon’s Bamenda Archdiocese has said, and cautioned against “clericalism”.

In his homily during the Golden Jubilee of St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary Bambui (STAMS), Archbishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea said, “The exercise of Priestly ministry today cannot be conceived of except in harmony with the Bishop and the presbyterate and in profound communion with other ministries, and charisms.”

Archbishop Nkea called upon members of the Clergy to “reconsider the exercise of authority, modeling it upon Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, emptied himself taking the form of a slave.”

He warned against clericalism, which he said “stems from a misunderstanding of the divine call, viewing it more as a privilege than a service, and manifesting itself in the exercise of power in a worldly manner that refuses to allow itself to be accountable.”

It is a “distortion of the Priestly vocation”, the Cameroonian Archbishop continued to decry clericalism during his December 1 homily, adding that the vice among members of the Clergy “needs to be challenged from the earliest stages of formation by ensuring close contact with the people of God and through concrete service-learning experiences among the most in need.”


“Clericalism is a disposition that can manifest itself not only among ministers of the Church, but also among the laity,” he further said during the Eucharistic celebration at STAMS campus.

The Archbishop of Bamenda who doubles as the President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon (NECC) appealed for spiritual solidarity with members of the Clergy, saying, “As we thank God for the wonders of his love, let us continue to pray for our Priests, especially the Priests from this seminary, that we may not fail, we may not fall into the vice of clericalism.”

“Let us pray that God may grant us fidelity in our ministry and grant us the grace to live lives worthy of our calling,” he further implored.

The Catholic Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in Cameroon’s Mamfe Diocese as Coadjutor Bishop in August 2013 called for prudence in engaging the digital media, which he said has been used to attack members of the Clergy, hinting to “the smear campaign” his colleague. 

He said, “We know that we are celebrating this jubilee at a time when the Church and her ministers, beginning from the Holy Father through the Bishops down to the Priests, are under very serious attacks from the forces of the underworld, especially through the use of social media.”

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“There are rumors of shifts of Church doctrine and the undermining of Church teaching,” Archbishop Nkea, who was appointed member of the Ordinary Council of the synod by Pope Francis, and weighed in on the October 4-29 XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in an interview said.

Making reference to 1 Peter 5:8, the 58-year-old Archbishop called members of the Clergy to exercise prudence and vigilance, “strong in faith”.

He said, “Be calm but vigilant, because your enemy, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him strong in faith and in the knowledge that your brothers all over the world are suffering the same things.”

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.