Cameroon: Bishop of Mamfe announces the release of nine hostages in Nchang.
Marie José Muando and Paule Valérie Mendogho - Vatican City.
There were nine hostages: five priests, a nun, a catechist, a parish worker and an adolescent girl. All were released after 38 days in the hands of their captors. A few hours after the release of the hostages, the Bishop of Mamfe Diocese thanked all those who contributed to the release of the hostages.
Pope Francis called for their liberation
Pope Francis called for the release of hostages in Cameroon at the end of the Angelus on 25 September, soon after he celebrated the Mass to mark the end of Italy’s National Eucharistic Congress in Matera.
From the day of their abduction, Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Bamenda called for chain prayers in the dioceses. Bishop Abangalo, when announcing the release of hostages, asked the faithful to continue with communal prayers in thanksgiving to the Lord for the release of the pastoral agents.
The Bishop did not, however, fail to condemn the desecration of the Church of Nchang. He reiterated his plea for respect of the human dignity of all persons. The Bishop of Mamfe further warned the Catholic faithful to be weary of those who explicitly or implicitly encourage abductions.
“To deprive our brothers and sisters of their freedom in order to make money at any price is inhuman,” he said.
A release welcomed with relief
Ten days earlier, a video was posted on the Internet, revealing the captives looking emaciated and showing signs of violence. They begged the Bishop to give in to their captors’ demands because their lives depended on that. It was, therefore, with great surprise and relief that the news of their release Sunday was received.