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Catholic Church concerned about major issues

CBC PGSSI AGM 2017 concludes

- Fr. Ambrose Pereria sdb


5th May, Port Moresby:

The CBC AGM 2017 concluded at the Emmaus Conference Centre, Port Moresby on 4th May, 2017 with Bp Pedro Baquero SDB, the youngest bishop celebrating the final Eucharist.  While he dwelt on faith, witness and love for the people, he highlighted the need ‘to be’ rather than ‘to do’.  


On the previous day, 3rd May, of the AGM the bishops witnessed the handover from the previous CBC President Bp Arnold Orowae, Diocese of Wabag to Bp Rochus Tatamai MSC, Diocese of Bereina. The new Vice President is Bp Anton Bal, Diocese of Kundiawa.


In the evening at 5pm all the Bishops joined the Seminarians and staff of Catholic Theological Institute, Bomana (CTI) at the Holy Eucharist in honour of the Apostles Philip and James.  It was a rare privilege granted to the seminary formators, professors and students for the bishops to celebrate the Mass and then join in the dinner.  Before the Eucharistic celebration the bishops spent time at the grave of Bp Patrick Taval, MSC and prayed for the departed.


During the AGM, the three different Committees - Committee for Christian Formation, Committee for Mission and Committee for Integral Human Development – had the election of who will chair the committees for the next three years.  The following have been elected.  Archbishop Francesco Panfilo SDB is the chair for Christian Formation, Bishop Gilles Cote’ is the chair for the Committee for the Mission, Bp Anton Bal is the chair for the Committee for Integral Human Development while Archbishop Douglas Young SVD is the chair of the Finance committee.  These, together with the President form the members of the Central Committee.


Among the documents presented, the following two are of importance for the country.  The letter about the Protection, Care and Catechesis of Children and secondly, Christian Faith and Political Elections.  The Bishops have also been concerned about care for the environment and strongly oppose Sea Bed Mining that will commence in East New Britain. 


Archbishop Young commented that this was one of the toughest AGMs he had attended partly due to the workload carried by the church in PNGSI and the high expectations the people have for good guidance on major issues from the bishops. Yet in the midst of many challenges there is great hope that the church can continue to bring gospel values into the political social economic life of PNGSI.


The Federation of the Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO), consists of almost 84 bishops.  CBC PNGSI looks forward to hosting the next conference in Port Moresby from the 11th to the 17th April, 2018.  The theme will be Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.


The bishops carry with them days of spiritual reflection, brotherly togetherness and personal enrichment as they journey back to their own dioceses.

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