Bishop Emeritus Immanuel Bushu of Cameroon’s Diocese of Buea has issued a public apology for any perceived “power struggle” with his successor, Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi.
The apology carried in a statement released on the 13th of January 2024, began with Bishop Bushu invoking the peace of the Lord upon the faithful and explaining the circumstances surrounding his resignation. He highlighted that, in line with Canon 401 §1, he had requested to be relieved of pastoral responsibilities upon reaching the age of seventy-five, a request that was granted by Pope Francis on December 28, 2019.
Expressing regret over any misconceptions, Bishop Bushu acknowledged the need to clarify his stance, stating, “I regret if at any time I had given any impression that I still had any authority over some works or institutions of the Diocese of Buea or acted contrary to [Bishop Bibi’s] directives.”
He went on to extend his apologies to those who may not have recognized or accepted Bishop Bibi as the new spiritual leader of the diocese. “I dissociate myself from such persons or groups of persons, and call on them to recognize Bishop Bibi as the rightful authority and collaborate with him according to the teaching of the Church,” Bishop Bushu urged.
The apology comes after Bishop Michael Miabesue Bibi banned his predecessor, Bishop Emeritus Emmanuel B. Bushu from celebrating Holy Mass in public within the Cameroonian Episcopal See without his explicit permission.
The ban was conveyed in a letter dated November 22, 2023, shared with Catholic Trends outlined two specific prohibitions imposed on Bishop Bushu.
The first prohibition outlined that Bishop Bushu is no longer permitted to concelebrate with Bishop Bibi on any Diocesan Liturgical celebration until further notice.
In the second prohibition, Bishop Bibi bared Bishop Bushu from celebrating or concelebrating any public Mass in any Parish within the Diocese of Buea without explicit permission.