The Catholic Bishops of Cameroon have called for a complete investigation into the mysterious death of Bishop Jean Marie Benoît Balla, behind which they see “obscure diabolical forces.”
The bishops have rejected an earlier hypothesis that Balla had committed suicide. “We the bishops of Cameroon are convinced that Bishop Jean Marie Benoît did not commit suicide; he was brutally murdered,” they declared in a statement.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this month, the body of the Roman Catholic bishop of Bafia, Jean-Marie Benoît Balla, was retrieved from the Sanaga River in southwest Cameroon some 48 hours after police discovered his car and an apparent suicide note on the Ebebda bridge above the river on May 31.
The 58-year-old prelate’s Toyota Prado SUV contained a handwritten message on the bishop’s official stationery with the simple message “Je suis dans l’eau” (I am in the water), along with the bishop’s personal effects, including his national identity card, his driver’s license, and the documents of the vehicle.
Some immediately expressed doubts regarding a possible suicide, suggesting rather that the bishop was the victim of “a well-orchestrated assassination.”
Abbott Constant Amombo, a friend of Bishop Balla, stated bluntly that “the man I knew would not be capable of such a gesture.”
The abbott said that certain details of the event struck him as odd and suggest that more was at play than meets the eye.
The bishops of Cameroon have since pointed out that Bishop Balla’s demise is just the latest in a long string of clerical deaths under unusual circumstances.
“This is one more murder, and one too many,” the bishops declared in calling for a full investigation of the death.
In their statement, the bishops speak of a “sad list of bishops, members of the clergy and consecrated persons assassinated in circumstances still not clear today,” adding the names and dates of the deceased.
“We have the impression that the clergy of Cameroon in particular is pursued by obscure diabolical forces,” they said.
The bishops have called for “complete light to be shed on the circumstances and the motivation of the murder of Bishop Balla,” demanded moreover that “those responsible be identified and handed over to justice to be judged by the law of the land.”
“The body is now at the disposal of the authorities investigating the case to discover the causes and the perpetrators of this hateful, unacceptable crime,” the bishops said in their statement, adding that his tragic death “shocked and upset the People of God, all Cameroonians and international opinion.”
They also urged the government “to assume the noble task of protecting human life,” and asked journalists and social media consumers “to renounce defamation, lies, and calumny and to respect the dignity of human persons.”
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