Vehemently anti-gay Archbishop Victor Tonye Bakot of Yaoundé, Cameroon, has resigned at a time when new Pope Francis is emphasizing the importance of accepting LGBT people in society.
The Vatican named Bishop Jean Mbarga of Ebolowa as his replacement, at least provisionally.
Public announcements and published discussions of Bakot’s resignation did not cite his anti-gay attacks as a reason for his departure, although his frequent campaigns against homosexuality were at odds with Pope Francis’s recent advocacy of toleration.
In a Jan. 28 interview, Bakot said, “We do not want” homosexuality in Africa. “The West has its culture and Africans have ours. Since we must respect the parallels between the two cultures, and since we are in dialogue with each other, let us propose polygamy to the West just as they propose homosexuality to us. Otherwise, let each of us remain set in their own culture.”
In February, he joined with other Roman Catholic bishops in issuing a statement that “homosexuality opposes humanity and destroys it.”
In last year’s Christmas sermon, Bakot called same-sex marriage “a serious crime against humanity.” He said, “We need to stand up to combat it with all our energy. I am particularly thankful to our local media that has been spreading this message of it as a criminality against mankind,” according to Reuters.
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