The native of Bafou in the Western region of Cameroon also noted that a pilgrimage like the one he was carrying out is a normal religious practice and therefore not subject to any authorizations.
The Jesuit Cleric recalled the police officers telling him that “the Church is not above the law,” and that he was carrying out “an illegal activity on a public road.”
The Priest and the photographer accompanying him were then reportedly loaded into a police van and taken towards Yaoundé, where he went through another interrogation before he was returned to Douala, bringing his pilgrimage to a halt.
In the message shared with ACI Africa on Friday, October 16, Fr. Ludovic called on his fellow Priests to join him in the pilgrimage, slated for December.
(Story continues below)
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“I send a vibrant invitation to my fellow Priests to join me in black cassocks for this stage. I beg their respective hierarchies not to oppose it,” he said.
The Cleric said that the frustrations experienced at the hands of the law enforcement authorities would not cow him into inaction and fear.
“Fear is a bad guide,” he said, and added, “A disciple of Christ should not be guided by fear but by compassion.”
His motto is derived from the Gospel of Mark and the first letter of John, he said and cited the two scriptural references saying respectively, “Why be afraid, do you not have faith?” and “There is no fear in love, perfect love casts out fear.”
The Jesuit Cleric also expressed his appreciation for those who backed him with prayers on his pilgrimage initiative.
“May God bless you abundantly and make each of us a friend and maker of justice, peace, reconciliation and fraternity in Cameroon,” Fr. Ludovic said.
He added, “In the meantime, I am returning to N'djamena to take care of my students, with the earnest hope that I will not need to come back in December because peace negotiations will have started.”
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.