PNGCC Airs Concern on Political Impasse
Port Moresby: The Papua New Guinea Council of Churches have expressed disapproval of the government’s current political impasse at the expense of service and infrastructure delivery to the people.
Their concern was made in a formal statement during a Press Conference held on Thursday 26th November, at the Catholic Bishops Conference PNGSI, Waigani. It had in its panel of speakers Reverend Roger Joseph, General Secretary for PNGCC; and Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC, Archbishop of Port Moresby. Also present for the briefing was Fr Giorgio Licini PIME, General Secretary of CBCPNGSI, and representatives from various media organizations. Moderating the press conference was Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb, Social Communications Secretary of CBCPNGSI.
Rev. Joseph emphasized the importance of celebrating the festive spirit of Christmas and warned of the detrimental consequences if individual greed and pride came in the way. “Consider as paramount the peace and good tidings that the ordinary citizen of this country, the women and children deserve, and that greed and power struggle only brings instability and affects the social and economic growth of our young growing nation,” he said.
He called on leaders to reflect on their Christian standing and to take a noble and responsible stand for the good of all the people and the country. “The rise and fall of this nation depend on the decisions you make. We ask you to create a space for God’s grace to work through you, and thus you become agents of God’s good tidings,” he said.
Cardinal Ribat described how the management of the country did not seem to focus on the welfare and prosperity of its people and urged for members of parliament to always respect the Constitution and have the country’s interests at heart. “It is no longer about the nation’s wellbeing because every individual has their own perception of what a leader should be,” he said.
He added, “But the Constitution should always be respected because it is there as a conscience to remind leaders that they are there for the common good of the people.”
Frieda Kana of LoopPNG, enquired if as churches there were common moments of prayer at this time of political uncertainty. Wantok Nuispepa, Rosa Koian, asked if the recent positive testing for COVID-19 of three ministers in the PNG Government camp would further the impasse and severely affect the people.
Jordan Charlehand, First-Year Medical Science student at UPNG and volunteer at Radio Maria, urged for ministers to be truthful and considerate in their mandated duties and to avoid practices that lack the backing of moral integrity.
The press statement served as a reminder from the Heads of the Churches to the country’s leaders to put all political differences aside and to celebrate the seasonal peace and good tidings the spirit of Christmas brings.
A clause in the statement also appealed to disciplinary forces and the general public not to take sides with the opposing factions but to maintain neutrality and to ensure peace and harmony in society amongst the fear and intimidation already caused by the impasse.