Cardinal Pietro Parolin

Cardinal Parolin tells Cameroon: For peace to be solid, it must be built on justice

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon | CRUX | Peace is the “fruit of love, which go beyond that which justice can bring,” according to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was speaking in Cameroon a day after visiting the country’s troubled Anglophone regions.

Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State and chief aid to Pope Francis, came to the West African country to give the pallium – the liturgical vestment for metropolitan archbishops – to Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Bamenda, whose ecclesiastical province covers the country’s English-speaking areas.

The North West and South West regions have been the scene of an insurgency since 2016, when a series of protests by teachers and lawyers against the encroachment of their institutions by the country’s French-speaking majority were violently put down by the government.

Parolin’s visit is unusual, since the Vatican ambassador to a country usually imposes the pallium on an archbishop. During his visit to the war-torn region, he called for peace and reconciliation.

On Monday, he addressed the Catholic University of Central Africa in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital, about the role of Vatican diplomacy in Africa.

“The Holy See deploys all its efforts around the world and particularly in Africa, to give value to the dignity of every person in all places and situations through declarations and daily initiatives,” Parolin said.

The cardinal noted the word “pontiff” comes from “pontifex” – “bridge builder.”

“Better than all else, this appellation spells out his activity as well as the activities of the entire Church: The pontiff in effect has the primordial mission to build bridges, bridges between God and man, and consequently, to build bridges between people,” Parolin explained.

The first pillar of Vatican diplomacy is peace, the cardinal said, and “is developed essentially on three axes: The first is doctrinal, that is to say, moral education; the second deals with changing public opinion; and the third has to do with campaigns at decision-making spheres both within governments and international bodies.”

“The concord between peoples and nations that the Holy See promotes at all times aims to build a concrete life with a focus on the respect of fundamental human rights. The central points of these actions are the direct links between realism and justice, understood as the duty and responsibly to act in the interest of man,” he said.

Parolin said the pursuit of peace can’t go without justice.

“It’s not just about building peace. It should be solid and tenacious, and supported by the unconditional choices of justice. It should focus on the conditions of human life,” he said.

“A stable peace is one that is sustainable and rooted in the social fabric, makes no noise … It’s not divorced from justice, but is fed by sacrifices, by clemency, by mercy and by charity … Peace is never acquired once and for all; it is always being constructed,” the cardinal explained.

“A stable peace can only be achieved by protecting the goodness of human dignity; in respecting and promoting the free exchange of the fruits of human inventiveness, without conditioning life on a predefined system of trade and development. But peace is above all the fruits of love, which go beyond that which justice can bring,” he added.

The cardinal then addressed issues of trade and development, and the integral development of the human being.

“Integral development doesn’t only have to do with economic development; it also has to do with the respect of human rights and the care for our common home,” he said. “Progress should be accomplished for all parts of the population, not just for some.”

Father Jean Bertrand Salla, the rector of the Catholic University of Central Africa, said his institution has a vocation to fostering peace and justice in the sub-region and around the continent.

He said Parolin’s lecture was particularly important for Cameroon in light of the Anglophone crisis.

“There has been so much focus on peace, but like the Secretary of State pointed out, such peace must not be dissociated from justice,” he told Crux.

Henry Kemende, a legislator from the English-speaking North West Region told Crux he believes that justice for Cameroon’s English-speakers is only possible if they regain what they consider as their lost autonomy.

“These are people who once had a government, a judiciary system, and education system, ran their own economy … they were doing well. All that have been taken away from them. The only justice for Anglophones is if they regain their lost identity,” he said.

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21 comments

  1. “These are people who once had a government, a judiciary system, and education system, ran their own economy … they were doing well. All that have been taken away from them. The only justice for Anglophones is if they regain their lost identity,” he said.

    Mr. Kemende, by then CMR was not yet so mixed as it is today. I know you are using the word “autonomy” because you are afraid to land.

    The highest that can be achieved to right the wrongs of the past is federalism. But to nourish thoughts that a separate country can be achieved in this our time and above, is nothing but a wishful thought.

    Even assuming a separate country were granted, Sako and Anu, or the short Cho, or even yourself, would all plunder the whole country down to bankruptcy…

    • @ZAM ZAM:- why is the Govt of LRC afraid of the word federalism?. You cant build long lasting peace in a country without honesty, equal rights and justice..Southern Cameroons was once an independent country, had a govt and practiced free and fair elections..What we call cameroon today is a union of two countries with 2 systems…WHy do you want to impose a failed chaotic LRC system to democratic organized people of southern cameroons..Why cant we work on the advantages of the 2 systems and build a strong country?..Why even refuse the fact the country is a union of 2 systems?..
      if you are honest, you will accept that Cameroon needs a complete change , a clean up and a new constitution that protect all cameroonians..

      • Sure, Biko.

        There is no way federalism can be swept under the carpet, rest assured.

        Should Biya escape federalism, his successor would for sure never escape it.

        Even Kamto knows that…

  2. “These are people who once had a government, a judiciary system, and education system, ran their own economy … they were doing well. All that have been taken away from them. The only justice for Anglophones is if they regain their lost identity,” ………Thank you Mr Kemende.There is no better way to put it. Very soon,they will compare Ambasonia with Biafra and Catalan….Anuofia
    People came to our country,orchestrated a coup d’etat,used arms and take control of our country since 1961 till date,and today,they turn around and call us seccessionist.

    • “People came to our country”

      Which your country na, Kongo? I hope you are not talking about CMR.

      You were warned here by visionaries abt taking up arms against your real country you never listened.

      Your mov’t has now made it impossible more than ever for CMR to ever separate. To my good taste tho.

      Check all the Internally Displaced in major towns now; almost all the women are marrying their Franco bros. And guess what! The numbers of mixed children will multiply 50 times, thus boosting the uniqueness of CMR. In less than 2 decades to come, when one will mention such a thing like Ambazonia, he’ll simply be tied up and locked up in a psychiatric home.

      We MUST all accept to live together—as there is neither an escape route nor a conshort on the table…

  3. Marginalization , as we currently define it, is the act of relegating someone to an unimportant or powerless position—making them feel, if you will, like they’re the notes squeezed into the margins of society. This is a form of prejudice, and left unchecked, it breeds a toxic environment for everyone in the society. Sounds terrible, right? It is. And although it can happen to anyone, it most often happens to groups already fighting uphill battles in our communities like ;women, people of color, people with disabilities, people who are overweight, etc. A direct result of societal vices like racism and sexism , marginalization is both a barrier to advancement and emblematic signs of a society in decline or of a failing state.

  4. La marginalisation, telle que nous la définissons actuellement, est l’acte de reléguer une personne à une position sans importance ou sans pouvoir – en lui faisant sentir, si vous voulez, comme si elle était les notes coincées dans les marges de la société. C’est une forme de préjugé, et laissé sans contrôle, il engendre un environnement toxique pour tout le monde dans la société. Cela semble terrible, non? Il est. Et bien que cela puisse arriver à n’importe qui, cela arrive le plus souvent à des groupes qui livrent déjà des batailles difficiles dans nos communautés comme: les femmes, les personnes de couleur, les personnes handicapées, les personnes en surpoids, etc. Résultat direct de vices sociétaux comme le racisme et le sexisme , la marginalisation est à la fois un obstacle à l’avance

    • Its very simple my brother..When you are francophone, it is hard for you to understand the problems of southern cameroonians..
      Again cameroon is a unity of two countries..EAST and WEST Cameroon.
      Cameroon is a bilingual country -French and English…(look at the currency,the frs CFA everything is in french, ..Is that correct?..)
      You have teachers in Southern cameroon who cant speak English but are teaching southern cameroonians in Pidgin English and broken ENglish..
      All professional schools are in french..ENAM, EMIA, ETC ETC but we are in a bilingual country..
      Parents will leave villages in the North west and south west to go and follow up dossiers in Yaounde and dont speak french..COme back frustrated..can u imagine?
      Who is fooling who?
      What is against federalism?

  5. Today,they used our own people to administer our country…..This is not different from what Hitler did to France during the second world war.When Hitler invaded France during the second world war,he recruited and used French people to administer the French territory.He set up what he called a vichy government at the time.
    That is exactly what LRC have done to Southern Cameroon.When they invaded Southern Cameroon,they recruited and used Southern Cameroonians to administer the Southern Cameroon territory…A territory that had a government,elected by the people of the territory.A territory that have a different culture with theirs.
    If this is not colonialism,what is it?

    • All your generals are falling apart simply cos they’ve become business men….shidong for dey di mimba some amba soldier dey again for GZ wey yi di fight for the Anglo prob…na dem no like business?

      Wuna ko go fight da war wuna sef-sef.

      Wuna no be man na pickin?

      Mal chance…

  6. @ZAMZAM:- i have known you long enough and have always seen you as a very smart thinker..But please, dont look down on people who are suffering and complaining? These boys who picked up arms have brought a big change in cameroon..The country will never be the same again..
    Every honest cameroonian accepts there is a very big problem in that country..So please dont come with that cheap comment saying We MUST all accept to live together—as there is neither an escape route nor a conshort on the table… ..

    If you love Cameroon, then you should support the struggle , the revolution to rebuild a cameroon for all.This country now belongs to a few thieves and no country can function that way..How can u explain a country is ruled by an old brainless man on diapers?..Are u happy?..Proud?..Ofcourse NO

    • But Biko we’re partly talking the same thing…that very big problem we have has its root from the fact that the government has done its best to divide us, make us refuse to acknowledge that we are bound to live together as nation. That is our main prob. Most people turn to withdraw themselves back into their communities, as every community is VERY suspicious of the other. This is also true for NW/SW.

      Unless we acknowledge this sense of belonging together, we’ll always opt for the easy option, run away.

      Running away solves nothing but comes with its own probs too, even worse than the status quo.

      Every honest Anglo knows that separation is not possible in this our time, and that is why such realistic Anglos rather opt 4 federalism. Which won’t be easy to achieve but can’t be escaped…

  7. In 30 – 50 years again, if separation doesn`t come today, we shall be in another
    war and for the same reasons. There is need, to die only once.
    SC, go to the devil, come out strong and set your selves free now.

  8. Today they are facing guerrilla Warfare. Tomorrow you’ll fave suicide bombers. We are not our fathers. Ambazonia or death!

  9. A fool will continue to sing the united thing.
    A continuation of the struggle only means escalation.
    Freedom always wins. Look aroind

    • CMR will remain one, united and indivisible just like the Ekoi pple.

      Anglos back home are tired of your lies and koni.

      Fighters like Nambere was lucky to have discovered that hoax early enough…

  10. Historians will consider Biya’s war as the last nail in the coffin of the VIVRE-ENSEMBLE.
    Simply put, the war has exposed LRC as a satanic country ruled by evil people. A future living together is no longer possible.
    There is therefore only one solution to the Anglophone Question: S-E-P-A-R-A-T-I-O-N. Nothing more nothing less.
    Any person or group of persons who still thinks that citizens of SC and LRC MUST live together come what may will surelyexperience a rude awakening.
    Dictator Biya and his terrorist military have destroyed the living together BEYOND REPAIRS.

  11. only total independence for Southern Cameroon Ambazonia, there is no turning back after a so call french cameroon president waged a full scale war against unarmed Southern Cameroonian protestors with justified demands but were meet with live bullets in 2017. this injustice by the french cameroon regime started in 1961,English speaking leaders left Inugu parliament without war from Nigeria to form the first democratic election country in Africa.History never lies,the french cameroon regime lives on lies, cosmetic solutions, colonial barbarism,intimidate, military brutality to solve all it’s citizens problems,world iis moving on yet the younde regime stays dictatorship stagnant,french cameroon will never ever win Ambazonia people because they are fighting a just war of freedom

  12. facebook will grant ambazonia indepedence soon. amba thinks he knows more than everyone. most anglophones are tired of that ****. facebook country. Cameroon is one and indivisible.