Bishops of Cameroon have condemned in very strong terms various societal ills including homosexuality, incest, pedophilia and bad influences from the media. They said these were some of the problems preventing Christians from truly living a life of faith in Christ.
They made the declaration at the end of Celebrations marking the year of faith which took place in the Buea diocese between October 3-5 2013
Part of their final statement read; “The year of faith has enabled and continues to enable every Christian to keep and develop an intimate relationship with Christ. This celebration of the year of faith must lead to a renewed appreciation of the dimension of the challenges of today.”
. “This permissive culture, avatars of relativism, secularism and materialism reaches all the strata but often the youth and the people who are unemployed, ignorant and poor,” read the message.
To better live the faith, the Bishops prescribed amongst others; a renewed emphasis on catechesis, formation of lively ecclesial communities, constant support to those in distress and misery, profundity in theological formation of the laity and priests, welcoming and committing yourself to the Gospel, believe in Christ, avoiding sects, defending and building the church and spreading the faith you have received.
Homily by Cardinal Tumi
Earlier in his sermon, Cardinal Christian Tumi said catholic Christians across Cameroon gathered in Small Soppo, Buea to thank God for the graces given to them during the celebrations of the year of faith decreed by Pope Benedict XVI, which started on October 11 2012 and will end on November 24 2013, the feast of Christ the King. “We are ending the celebrations in Cameroon in Buea at the behest of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon,” he said.
However, he cautioned Christians that the celebration of the year of faith is ending but not our faith.
The Cardinal told the people of God to not only have faith, but they should live it, profess it and celebrate it according to the demands because even the devil can profess the faith. He defined faith as a gift from God, saying “we cannot doubt what God has made for us through His Church. We have to respond to our God with obedience of faith, the acceptance of truth and Jesus Christ, who is the truth himself.”
Inspired by Pope Benedict XVI, who decreed the year of faith, host Bishop, Mgr. Immanuel Bushu in his opening statement said Christians have to come back to God, noting that we have gone astray. “With God, we are everything, without God, we are nothing,” he said.
He said faith is not a reward but God’s love, gift and grace, adding that a call to faith is a call to share.
In the build up to the October 5 2013 celebrations, Christians and delegates across Cameroon had reflections and debates in a series of workshops focusing on faith, challenges face by the church, development of the church, health and education.
Joining the Bishops at the celebrations and the huge turnout of Christians were; the representative of President Paul Biya, Sen Peter Mafany Musonge, the Governor, Southwest Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, the Vice Chancellor, University of Buea, Dr Nalova Lyonga, leaders of other religious denominations and other local administrative and traditional authorities