FCBCO Assembly Underway
By Abigail Seta
Port Moresby: Delegates of the Federation of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Oceania Assembly gathered today, April 12th for the first day of the program.
Present at the Airways Hotel to welcome the Bishops from FCBCO was Cardinal John Ribat MSC. In his welcome speech, Cardinal Ribat gave a brief history of the FCBCO and highlighted many issues in the Pacific to an attentive audience. He also welcomed the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
“I welcome you all to a warm and beautiful country,” he addressed the bishops.
“I welcome you all to experience the rich culture of our people in the next six days and I invite you to experience the faith of our young and vibrant Church.”
Starting the first session of the program was Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin speaking on Laudato Si and the Pacific countries.
Basing his speech on the Laudato Si encyclical, Cardinal Parolin stated:
“Everything is intimately connected; therefore, we must strengthen our ability to listen to nature.”
The Cardinal also remembered the province of Southern Highlands that was hit with a devastating earthquake, he said that it is important that we all stand together in solidarity with the local people ensuring that their basic needs are met including their human and spiritual needs.
The second part of the session saw Professor Ottmar Edenhoffer, deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), give a talk on Laudato Si, the global common good and the consequences of climate change in Oceania.
Also, speaking at the assembly was Msgr. Pirmin Spiegel – German Roman Catholic clergyman and development worker – who spoke on taking care of the common home in Oceania.
The program ended with the Opening Eucharistic celebration which was held at Caritas Technical School, Boroko.
Friday, 13th April will see Governor Powes Parkop give his keynote speech on PNG and refugees to the FCBCO Assembly.