The Catholic Church has the mandate from her Divine Founder to go out and teach all nations (Mt. 28:19, Mk. 16:16). This is why she teaches that “all men of whatever race, condition or age, in virtue of their dignity as human persons, have an inalienable right to education.” (Gravissimum Educationis, n. 1)
Education, therefore, is an integral part of the Catholic Church’s mission and this is why the Catholic Church in Cameroon evangelises through schools. The Catholic Church has no trade unions. However, the Church’s Social Teachings “approve strikes as a last resort to establish dialogue to settle industrial disputes and guarantee social justice.” (Compenduim of the Church’s Social Teachings, n. 304). The Catholic Church cannot, therefore, be a protagonist of a strike that hinders our children from going to school.
This is why since the beginning of this strike, the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bamenda, have never closed our schools and it is our preoccupation that all schools should effectively resume as soon as possible, for education is an inalienable right of our children.
It is unfair that the current socio-political crises in the North West and South West Regions, which we have articulated in our Memorandum of December 22, 2016 to the Head of State, have taken the schools hostage and therefore deprive the children of their fundamental human right to education. It is illogical and unjust that we are accused by some people for keeping our schools closed, because this contradicts the very mission and values for which we stand. We deplore all the threatening messages forwarded to the Bishops from all angles concerning the present situation.
We, therefore, declare that in the current situation, all our Catholic Educational Institutions have never been closed down and their doors remain always open to receive pupils and students.
May Our Lady, Star of Evanglisation, intercede for us.
Done in Bamenda this Wednesday, February 8, 2017,
Memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita
+George Nkuo +Andrew Nkea
Bishop of Kumbo Bishop of Mamfe
President of BAPEC Vice President of BAPEC
+Cornelius Esua +Immanuel Bushu
Archbishop of Bamenda Bishop of Buea
+Agapitus Nfon +Michael Bibi
Bishop of Kumba Auxiliary Bishop of Bamenda