The Archbishop of Cameroon advises caution in connection with alleged Marian apparitions
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The Archbishop of Cameroon advises caution in connection with alleged Marian apparitions

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon – In Cameroon, Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Bamenda warned Christians against an alleged apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the home of a parishioner in his archdiocese.

On June 6, thousands of Christians and non-Christians flocked to the home of Dorothy Enow Manyor in Ngomgham Parish following an alleged apparition at her home.

Manyor is a member of the All Angels Small Christian Community in the parish.

Nkea, in a June 8 statement, stressed the need for thorough discernment and due process by church authorities to verify the veracity of the alleged apparition.

“No one can and cannot at present announce with certainty that the Blessed Virgin Mary appears in the said house in Ngomgham,” the archbishop said.

He said that “whatever is happening in Ngomgham requires careful discernment and due process by competent ecclesiastical authorities, in accordance with the Norms of the Holy See of May 17, 2024, to be sure about this phenomenon.”

The new norms give the Vatican greater influence in determining Marian apparitions and other religious phenomena.

Previous protocols gave local bishops greater autonomy in discerning such cases, and while the May 17 guidelines continue to emphasize that “discernment in this area remains the responsibility of the diocesan bishop,” the new rules state that the Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith “must always “consult and ultimately approve the bishop’s decision before he announces a decision regarding an event of alleged supernatural origin.”

RELATED: In new apparition verification process, Vatican rejects ‘supernatural’ label.

Nkea stated that until the Church does and establishes this, “this private house (Manyora house) cannot be considered a public place of prayer and therefore all Catholic Christians are encouraged to visit their parish churches and diocesan/parish shrines frequently for purposes of public prayer and veneration of the saints, especially the Blessed Virgin Mary.

National Episcopal Conference director of communications, Father Humphrey Tatah Mbuy, said the Church takes into account three things when determining the veracity of Marian apparitions.

“First, the Church must see evidence that this was not intended to be a secret or private revelation, but a public revelation. Second, the Church appoints a group of people to study a specific case and find out the facts about the claims. And third, even if it is a real revelation, they want to be sure that the miracle of what is happening is not something made up. That’s why the Church is in no hurry,” he said Point.

“That is why what is happening in Ngomgham – the archbishop had to write a letter advising people to stop coming there until the investigation is completed,” Mbuy said.

Nkea, who also serves as President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Cameroon, appealed to the public to allow Manyor and her family to maintain their privacy.

“The family in which this phenomenon occurs has the right to privacy and a peaceful family life. Therefore, people should respect their rights and provide them with the peace they deserve,” the archbishop said.

He promised to appoint a commission of theologians to investigate this phenomenon.

This is not the first time Cameroon has experienced Marian apparitions, real or imagined.

According to father Antoine Roger Evouna, in 1996, a 7-year-old mute girl from Nsimalen, a town on the outskirts of Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, “shouted to Maria three times.”

The place of the apparitions is now called the Marian Sanctuary and “bears a myth of miracles and healings, and pilgrims gather in large numbers, asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Two years ago, in the face of increasing violence in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions – where Bamenda is located – Nkea consecrated the area to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Nkea then said that since all the bishops of the Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province were present at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Abango, “we have decided to consecrate the entire Bamenda Ecclesiastical Province to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace.”

“We will appeal to her motherly intercession so that we can once again experience peace in our ecclesiastical province, which corresponds to the territorial district of the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon. This is not our choice. It’s not even our decision. It was God himself who decided that this would happen,” the archbishop said.

In his message of June 8, Nkea recalled that the Marian Year celebrated two years ago enabled Christians to “in-depth study the Blessed Virgin Mary and Her role in the economy of salvation.

“The year ended with the Marian Congress and many Christians had the Acta of this Congress. We were encouraged to pray the rosary and stay close to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Comforter of the Afflicted, Help of Christians, Mother of the Church and Queen of Peace,” he said.

The archbishop encouraged the faithful to continue to pray as the archdiocese begins the process of discerning the alleged apparition at Dorota’s home.