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Leading Cameroon prelate among 3 to resign early

July 30, 2013

In recent days, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three bishops under Canon 401 §2, which provides for the resignation of a bishop who “because of illness or some other grave reason has become unsuited for the fulfillment of his office.”

On July 27, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Marcellino Taiji Tani of Saitama, Japan at the age of 60. The bishop had governed the diocese, formerly known as the Diocese of Urawa, since 2000.

On July 27, Vatican Information Service also announced that Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Guillermo Martín Abanto Guzmán at the age of 49. Appointed auxiliary bishop of Lima in 2009, he was named bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Peru in October 2012.

On July 29, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Simon-Victor Tonyé Bakot of Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital, at the age of 66. Ordained an auxiliary bishop in 1987, Archbishop Bakot was appointed Yaoundé’s archbishop in 2003 and hosted Pope Benedict XVI during the Pontiff’s visit to the west-central African nation in 2009.

The government-run Cameroon Radio Television described Archbishop Bakot’s resignation as a “bombshell” and reported that “so far, no reason has been advanced to justify this new development, but keen observers have noted that the man of God has been under serious public scrutiny of late.”

“Unidentified groups through news publications have been denouncing Tonyé Bakot’s management style,” the report continued.

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Jean Mbarga of Ebolowa-Kribi as Yaoundé’s apostolic administrator.


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