World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


New Beginning for PNG Catholic Church

A New Beginning for the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea

- By Philip Gibbs svd

The closing conference of the General Assembly of the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea was held on 10th July, 2004, at Vunapope, with a celebration attended by thousands of people from all over the nation. The Prime Minister, Michael Somare along with several members of parliament were present for the final mass at Rakunai, near Rabaul - the birthplace of catechist-martyr Blessed Peter to Rot.

The weeklong event was the culmination of deliberations on relevant topics at local, diocesan and national levels over a period of 18 months. Reflecting on letter Novo Millennio Ineunte and Ecclesia in Oceania, the 150 delegates headed by the bishops represented the 19 dioceses outlined a national Vision and Mission for the church in Papua New Guinea. The Pastoral Priorities touched critically on issues related to social, moral and spiritual aspects of Papua New Guinea society, and the changes which the church needs to face in order to come up with plans for the direction of the church in the new millennium.

The delegates included representatives from women and youth groups. Observers from the Evangelical Lutheran and Anglican Churches were also present. Present also were prominent Catholic national leaders.

Soil - that holds great symbolic value for the Melanesian - was brought by the representatives and mixed in a large container. A large cross was placed in the mixed soil and it remained the symbol right throughout the conference. At the end of the week, delegates from each diocese received a potted plant growing in that same soil, to be taken back to every corner of the nation.

Socio-political realities were highlighted - among them the political games in Waigani, corruption, the future of young people, health services, the AIDS crisis, the lack of political interest and leadership. Statements voicing out the suffering of the people were released.

In a Pastoral Letter published at the end of their Conference, the bishops highlighted the National Vision and National Mission for Papua New Guinea.

Called by the Father, sent by Jesus, and moved by the Holy Spirit, we strive to promote God's kingdom

a.. by witnessing the Good News; b.. by fostering growth in holiness for all; c.. and by encouraging fuller participation in church and society so as to transform the world through the love of Christ.

The National Priorities for the Catholic Church in PNG are as follows:

a.. Catholic Family life

b.. Youth

c.. Evangelisation and Catechesis

d.. Training and formation

e.. Justice, peace and the integrity of creation f.. A healthy society, confronting the AIDS crisis, and education

Unity within the Church has been stressed.

"Let new life spring forth from the earth as we mix the ground of every diocese with that of our own places. Let the Kingdom of God grow out of this land to the praise and glory of God."

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC