Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic have distanced themselves from a group that is promising to defend the Church and avenge the deaths of priests.
The group calling itself the League of Defense of the Church alleged there was inaction by Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui as the Church faced attacks, with Christians and priests being killed.
But the bishops said the Church did not recognise the organisation and could not maintain any collaboration with such a group.
“We demand respect of the memory of priests, women and men killed in the exercise of their commitment to following Christ. They are worthy and faithful to our Church and nation, which has always longed for peace,” said Cardinal Nzapalainga, president of the Central African Republic bishops’ conference.
In a statement in mid-July, the cardinal said the Catholic Church’s commitment to justice and unity, in collaboration with other religious denominations, exposed the Church to all kinds of threats and attacks.
Picture: Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, greets youths after celebrating Mass for internally displaced people in Bangui in this 2015 file photo. Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic have distanced themselves from a group that is promising to defend the Church and avenge the deaths of priests. (CNS photo/Siegfried Modola, Reuters).