Priest from Mamfe Diocese meets Pope Benedict XVI 0

Pope Benedict welcomed Revered Father Maurice Agbaw-Ebai in the Vatican on Thursday making him feel at home and showed great concern for the Catholic community in English speaking Cameroon that is facing difficulties.

It was a wonderful feeling meeting Pope Benedict, Fr Maurice Agbaw-Ebai told Cameroon Concord News.

Pope Benedict was keen to know about the Benedict XVI Institute for Africa. He was pleased the Cameroonian priest was teaching his theology in the USA.

Fr Maurice Agbaw-Ebai told Pope Benedict that his theology is loved and cherished all over the world. Dr Agbaw-Ebai also said Benedict’s teachings is contributing much to society and to the development of humanity, especially through a course called Joseph Ratzinger and the Enlightenment education.

Below is Fr Maurice Agbaw-Ebai’s address delivered during his meeting with Pope Benedict XVI

Holy Father, first of all, I wish to thank you immensely for accepting to meet me. This is a day that I never hoped for, though I have prayed for it for over 21 years. It is truly a miracle. Thank you for your generosity in receiving me. You have been the decisive spiritual and academic director of my life. I wrote my doctoral dissertation in theology on your theology of the Logos, starting with your inaugural lecture, God of Faith, God of the Philosophers. Vielen Dank.

Secondly, thank you very much for your great theological writings. When I was going for graduate studies, my Bishop then, Bishop Francis Teke Lysinge, said to me: You are going to study the theology of Pope Benedict XVI. Remember, his Theology is very spiritual. You must grow in holiness as you study him.

Holy Father, your theology has shaped and is shaping and forming a generation of young priests from Africa.

Your theology has shown us that it is beautiful to become a priest of Jesus, a friend of the Bridegroom, to use an image from your dear Augustine of Hippo.

Your theology is loved by so many young African priests and seminarians, and for that, we say, thank you.

Holy Father, presently, I teach theology and philosophy at St. John’s Seminary in Boston, MA. There, also, your theology is loved and cherished.

In fact, I teach a course called Joseph Ratzinger and the Enlightenment. Many seminarians take this course. They sent a photo of the class for me to give you, which I will give you soon. The seminarians of St. John’s Seminary and the Faculty asked me to convey their love to you.

Holy Father, with the Metropolitan Archbishop of Bamenda, Most Rev. Adrew F. Nkea, we are setting up the Benedict XVI Institute for Africa, to make your theological corpus known in the continent of Africa.

We organized a Conference at the Catholic University in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to mark the 10th anniversary of your visit to Cameroon and Angola.

We also organized a Conference at the Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Munus. We have also organized two conferences at the University of St, Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Chicago, bringing together African scholars who work in the US, to discuss and engage your theology, and form networks of support for each other along the pathway of Jesus Christ, which your theology clearly shows out to us.

Next month, to mark your 95th Birthday, we will be having another conference at the Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda, bringing together theologians from Africa to engage your beautiful classic, Introduction to Christianity. Please pray for this Conference.

And Holy Father, finally, and most important of all, the Archbishop of Bamenda and President of the Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, Most Rev. Andrew Nkea, will be inaugurating the Benedict XVI Institute for Africa as a Constituent College of the Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda. I hereby present to you the program, and I ask for your blessing as we begin this Theology Institute for the Continent of Africa dedicated to the study of your great life and great theological legacy, for the good of the Church in Africa and beyond, just like the Ancient Catechetical School of Alexandria.

I beg for your prayers for all these intentions, Holy Father, and also, your prayers for 5 priests, a nun, and a catechist, kidnapped in the Diocese of Mamfe in Cameroon, my home diocese, who are currently in a terrible situation in the forest. Please pray for their release and for the comfort of the peoples so affected by this conflict in Cameroon. I will also leave a list of prayer intentions with Archbishop George.

Vergelt’s Gott, Geliebter, Heiliger Vater, und Danke schön.

Rev. Maurice A. Agbaw-Ebai

St. John’s Seminary, Boston MA/Boston College, Boston MA/Merrimack College, North Andover, MA

127 Lake St Brighton MA 02135 USA

Reported by Chi Prudence Asong