The Catholic Church has been in mourning since Saturday 30th June, following the death of the Bishop of Bata, Anacleto Sima Engua, in the city of Malabo. The programme organised for his funeral includes a vigil, which has been taking place in Malabo Cathedral since Monday 2nd July.
Anacleto Sima Engua was born on 2nd July 1936, and was ordained a priest on 24th June 1963, in Albacete (Spain).
In 1964 he returned to the country, bound for the Banapa Seminary, as spiritual leader and teacher of spirituality. He was also parish priest of Evinayong and Acurenam from 1966 to 1975, and inter-diocese spiritual leader at the Niefang Seminary.
During the time of Macias the church was persecuted, and he was imprisoned from 1976 to 1979, but freed following the Freedom Coup in 1979, and he returned to his position as parish priest of Evinayong.
Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Bata in 1982, but the Pope himself ordained him on 6th January 1983 as Bishop of the Diocese of Bata.
Following many years of work and responsibility as president of the Episcopal Conference in Equatorial Guinea, he gave up his position as Bishop of Bata on 11th May 2002 due to ill health, and died on Saturday 30th June, aged 82.
Monsignor Anacleto Esimi was a great pastor and great Catholic in the country, a promoter of young clergy and priestly works in his diocese, and he worked in the promotion of the priesthood, and the training of clergy from the diocese.
His mortal remains will be buried this weekend at the Holy Cathedral in Bata, where he was Bishop.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea