Catholic Bishop in Cameroon Facing Social Media Attacks, Clergy Decry “the smear campaign”

Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi of Cameroon's Buea Diocese. Credit: Vatican Media

Members of the Clergy of Cameroon's Catholic Diocese of Buea are supporting their Local Ordinary, Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi, who is facing social media attacks, which the Clergy dismiss as an unfortunate “smear campaign”.

In a statement issued, Wednesday, November 22, members of the Clergy of Buea Diocese weigh in on social media posts, including those from Nchumbonga George Lekelefac such as an ongoing apostolic visitation, Seeking Transparency and Accountability: An Examination of Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi's Leadership, Bishop Michael Bibi, The Father, The Bishop, The Rock On Which Buea Diocese Is Built, The Truth and nothing but the truth about Buea Diocese under Bishop Michael Bibi, and Ex-cardination of suspended priests of Buea Diocese: a solution?

“For the past few months, much has been said and written about the Diocese of Buea and her Chief Shepherd, Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi,” the Catholic Priests say.

They express their support for Bishop Bibi, saying, “We, the Priests of the Presbyterium of Buea, have watched with dismay at the smear campaign orchestrated by some individuals and even some members of the presbyterium and groups on social media against the person of the Bishop and the work he is doing in the Diocese of Buea which is already yielding fruits in abundance.”

“Unfortunately, some of these publications have had a negative impact on the faith of many of our Christians,” the members of the Clergy of the Cameroonian Diocese lament.


They continue, “At this point, we want, as a Presbyterium, to affirm and declare our support for the Bishop, and in making this affirmation, dissociate ourselves from all those seeking to manipulate and mislead the people of God in the Church of Buea.”

“As Priests serving in the Diocese of Buea, we remain united with the Bishop as he continues to lead this Diocese with grace, compassion and integrity,” they further say.

The members of the Clergy express their awareness of the challenges involved in shepherding the people of God. They say, “The role of a Bishop is fundamental in the spiritual life of every Diocese and yet, pastoring a Diocese is a challenge and a huge responsibility before God and man.”

They call upon the people of God in Buea Diocese to “remain calm and united in the face of these attacks, because we are confident of the words of Jesus in Mt. 16:18, that the gates of the underworld shall never prevail over the Church.”

All Consecrated persons and the Laity need to “stand in support of our Bishop so that he may realize his vision for this Diocese, for the greater Glory of God, and for our Salvation,” they say.

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The Clergy laud the 52-year-old Catholic Bishop who has been at the helm of Buea Diocese since December 2019, first as Apostolic Administrator, and since February 2021, as the Local Ordinary.

“My Lord Bishop, we admire your composure in the face of all these attacks and we encourage you to remain calm, confident that God is your strength,” the Catholic Priests implore.

As Apostolic Administrator of Buea, Bishop Bibi made administrative changes in the Diocese-owned Catholic University Institute of Buea (CUIB), leading to controversy among the members of the institution’s Council. The Vatican clarified his mandate as the Apostolic Administrator of the Cameroonian Diocese.

In September this year, Bishop Bibi was honored by the country’s NewsWatch Newspaper for his “exceptional skills” in leading the people of God and managing the property of his Episcopal See.

Earlier, in February 2022, Catholic Bishops in Cameroon’s Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province expressed their “solidarity and communion” with their colleague, Bishop Bibi following social media attacks.


In their collective statement dated 11 February 2022, members of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference (BAPEC) said their “hearts were deeply saddened by the unfortunate turn of events in the Diocese of Buea, characterized by gross disrespect of the hierarchy of the Church, casting of aspersions on Bishop Michael Bibi.” 

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.