By DELLYANNE ILAI
THE Evangelical Lutheran Church has joined the chorus of people congratulating Catholic Church Cardinal Sir John Ribat on his recent appointment by Pope Francis.
ELCPNG head bishop Right Reverend Jack Urame said the world had recognised potential Christian leaders in the country and region.
There are more than 1.5 million members of the Papua New Guinea Lutheran church while Catholics number about 2.35 million in the country.
Urame congratulated Cardinal Ribat for his new title in the Catholic Church.
“On behalf of the ELCPNG, I congratulate Sir John Ribat on his appointment to the position of Cardinal in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church,” Urame said.
Urame told The National yesterday that as an ecumenical partner with the mainline and other churches, the Lutheran church shared the blessing with the Catholic Church.
“This is the first time someone in the country and also in the region is given this significant recognition,” he said.
“The honour is not only for the newly-appointed cardinal but also for the whole Christian community in the country and region.
“This is a blessing of many years of hard work, commitment and dedication.
“The appointment indicates that we are mature and gifted with the necessary blessings to contribute to the global community.”
The Catholic and other mainline churches had been the forerunners in the spreading of the gospel in the country.
“The contribution of the churches to the development of the country continues and we as churches will join hands and carry on the work of preaching the Gospel of Christ and contribute to the social development of the country through health and education services,” he said.
“Such contribution comes from strong, honest and good spiritual leadership.
“We join hands with the Catholic communities in Papua New Guinea and in the region and express our gratitude to the Pope for this special recognition and elevation of a Papua New Guinean to the position.”
By DELLYANNE ILAI