Archbishop John Ribat is named PNG’s first Cardinal


The archbishop of Port Moresby, Sir John Ribat, is one of 17 new Cardinals named by Pope Francis.

Ribat said the appointment came as a surprise as he never thought nor dreamt of it.

“If it is the will of God, then may he give me his grace and strength to fulfil this course and carry out this responsibility.”

“I am grateful to accept this call and this appointment may come as personal but it is really for the Church and for our people of PNG.”

“It is a great witness to the call of God to all of us Christians and it is a blessing for the Church and for our nation,” said Ribat.

New Zealand’s Cardinal John Dew said, “I, and I’m sure my brother bishops here in New Zealand and throughout Oceania will be, am delighted to have heard the news overnight of Archbishop Ribat’s appointment.

“It’s wonderful for the people of Papua New Guinea, their first ever Cardinal, within which there is a significant Catholic population, but it is also great news for the Pacific, and for the Church.”

“He is currently serving as the President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops of Oceania, and his elevation is cause for celebration across all of Oceania,” said Cardinal John.”

“This news again shows Pope Francis’ continued commitment to the Church throughout the world including the smaller nations in the geographical peripheries,” he said.

“This is much more than a choice of geography though, Archbishop Sir John Ribat is a humble, pastoral and committed leader in his country and the wider Oceania region, and this is acknowledgment of that and a call to further serve the global Church.”

“I believe the global Church will benefit from the contribution of the Church in Oceania, despite our geographical distance from the rest of the world.”

Ribat joined the Congregation of the Sacred Heart Missionaries and was ordained 1 December 1985.

He was appointed as the auxiliary Bishop of Bereina in PNG in 2000 and became the bishop there in 2002.

In 2007 he was made coadjutor bishop of Port Moresby and in 2008 and became Archbishop on the retirement of Archbishop Brian Barnes in 2008.

Earlier this year Ribat was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2014 The Archdiocese of Port Moresby had a Catholic population of 205,354, 32.6% of the total population.

There were 19 parishes, 65 priests (7 diocesan, 58 religious), 324 lay religious (223 brothers, 101 sisters), 2 seminarians.


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News category: Asia Pacific, Top Story.

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