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Pope replaces Cameroon Archbishop who said gays destroy humanity

The Pope has replaced Archbishop Simon Victor Tonye Bakot of Yaoundé, Cameroon who fought LGBT rights and called gay marriage a ‘crime against humanity’.

The decision to replace him came in the same week Pope Francis indicated a softer stance on LGBT issues, saying ‘who am I to judge?’ gay people.

Bakot, aged 66, has been Archbishop of the Cameroon capital of Yaoundé since November 2003.

He was described as 'very homophobic' by LGBT rights campaigners in Cameroon, speaking to Gay Star News

July 31, 2013

Gays excited over the resignation of Archbishop Tonye Bakot

Cameroon Journal - Gays and Lesbian groups appear to be salivating over the recent resignation of Catholic Archbishop, Tonye Bakot. At least, it appears so from a report posted on a gay publication - ‘Gaystarnews’. The article portrays the bishop as the most anti-gay priest in Cameroon and said the Pope did the right thing by replacing him. READ the story.


today (31 July).

In 2005 his remarks against homosexuality sparked a nationwide debate, leading newspapers in Cameroon to publish a list of prominent people, including government ministers, they claimed were part of a ‘gay mafia’.

Bakot appeared to support this conspiracy theory, saying gay sex was ‘the cause’ of youth unemployment because young men who refuse to have homosexual sex with government officials can’t get jobs.

Last year he said gays were a ‘danger to the family unit’ and ‘an affront to the family, enemy of women and creation’.

He likened gays to pedophiles and suggested Africans should ‘propose polygamy to the West just as they propose homosexuality to us’.

But it is not known if his anti-LGBT stance – which appears to go against Pope Francis’ view – was a contributing factor to his resignation.

The main reasons cited are ‘political scandals’, a row over ethnic student balance at the Catholic University of Central Africa (UCAC) where he is Grand Chancellor and mismanagement of church property.

It is understood he has taken out mortgages against church property and Jeune Afrique claims the diocese is now six billion Cameroon Francs in debt ($12million €9million).

He has been temporarily replaced by Monsignor Jean Mbarga, Bishop of Ebolowa.

The departure comes at a time when there is international interest in the plight of LGBT people in Cameroon, following the torture and murder of gay activist Eric Lembembe earlier this month.

The 76 Crimes site reports the investigation has stalled amid a climate of ongoing harassment of LGBT people.


By Tris Reid-Smith

GAYSTARNEWS

Archbishop Victor  Tonye Bakot