Auxiliary Bishop in CAR Appointed Local Ordinary of Country’s Mbaiki Diocese

New Bishop of CAR's Diocese of Mbaiki, Jesús Ruiz Molina, MMCJ

Pope Francis has appointed the Auxiliary Bishop of Bangassou Diocese in the Central African Republic (CAR), Comboni Missionary Jesús Ruiz Molina, as the new Local Ordinary of the country’s Mbaiki Diocese.

In the Wednesday, March 10 announcement published by the Holy See Press Office, the Holy Father accepted the retirement of 77-year-old Bishop Guerrino Perin, also a Comboni Missionary, who has been at the helm Mbaiki Diocese since October 1995.

Born in January 1959 in La Cueva de Roa in Spain’s Archdiocese of Burgos, Bishop Molina was ordained a Priest in July 1987.

He was appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of CAR’s Bangassou Diocese in July 2017 and ordained a Bishop in November the same year at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Bangui Archdiocese, since Bangassou was only reachable by air due to insecurity.

“The 12 parishes we have there have been looted by the 14 armed groups who are fighting to dominate the country. Violence and massacres are a daily affair. The majority of the population is displaced. The majority of the Priests and of the Sisters have fled,” he was Bishop Molina was quoted as saying in an interview three days after his episcopal ordination.


He added in reference to the Diocese of Bangassou, “In the cathedral we haven’t said Mass for four months because we have been housing 2,100 Muslim refugees that the anti-balaka want to kill. No State employee wants to come here. This is why we decided to celebrate my ordination in Bangui.”

In the 23 November 2017 interview with Alberto de la Portilla, Bishop Molina described his episcopal appointment as “a cold shower, practical icy, because I neither feel worthy nor find it humanly attractive.”

At the time of his appointment, Bishop Molina had been planning to return to Spain at the end of 2017 and work in Vocation Promotion, Justice and Peace while at the same time spending time with his aging parents, he revealed in the interview published on the website of the Comboni Lay Missionaries.

“Trusting in God, I said yes and this has completely changed my life, which is already tied to these people to the end in a sacramental way,” he said referencing his July 2017 episcopal appointment.

Asked about his love for the poor, the member of the Comboni Missionaries said, “This preferential option for the last, those who do not count, the discarded as the Pope says, comes from Jesus of Nazareth.”

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“Being the unsatisfied searcher that I am, curiously I discovered that it is in those who are despised by the world that we find the true face of God,” the Comboni Missionary said and added, “The poor, the humble, the hungry, those who cry, the persecuted, those who cry for justice… they are the Bible in the flesh.”

Still making reference to the poor, he continued, “I was given this great treasure of being able to serve them a little, and I am happy to be the one who greatly benefits from it, because it is the poor who give me God.”

In the interview, Bishop Molina decried what he termed an “underhanded neocolonialism (that) is taking over Africa today,” a situation he said was characterized by world’s powers “unscrupulously fighting over its riches, causing wars, destroying cultures, exterminating entire populations.”

“But Africa is life with capital L. The origin of humankind is in Africa and I dare to say that its future passes through Africa,” he said in the November 2017 interview.

Erected in June 1995, CAR’s Diocese of Mbaiki is under the Ecclesiastical Province of Bangui.


In Mbaiki Diocese, which is under the patronage of St. Joan of Arc, Comboni Missionary Bishop Molina will oversee the pastoral care of an estimated 130,000 Catholics spread across 26,225 square kilometers according to 2018 statistics.