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Cameroon gay people plead with Pope to save them from his priests

Cameroon gay people plead with Pope to save them from his priests

Pope Francis is being urged to help Cameroonian gay people

LGBTI people living in one of the world’s worst places to be gay have pleaded with Pope Francis to save them from his priests who have implemented a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on homosexuality.

Alternatives-Cameroon has issued a warning call after priests at the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon unanimously decided in January to oppose their views on gay people.

They said Catholics must treat homosexuality as ‘this abominable thing that goes against nature’ and warned it ‘risks becoming a social outbreak’.

The LGBTI activists have urged the Catholic Church in Cameroon to follow Pope Francis’ lead. They said they don’t have to condone same-sex marriage or even homosexuality at all, but to treat gay people with respect enough to at least leave them alone.

‘If Pope Francis seems to have a more conciliatory approach to the subject, it is clear he is struggling to implant this approach within the church he leads,’ Alternatives-Cameroon has said.

‘[The Catholic Church should] fulfil its primary mission to promote peace, love and tolerance and finally to be at the sides of the oppressed and those left behind.’

The group called on the pope to ‘get control of the Cameroonian prelate, including the bishops of the National Episcopal Conference and to harmonize the discourse of the Church’.Homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon, punished by up to five years in prison. Attitudes to LGBTI people are hostile, and there are frequent reports of mob violence, assaults and even murder.