By Jason Dom
Cardinal Pirtro Parolin, Secretery of state to His Holiness Pope Francis, arrived yesterday for the Federation of the Catholic Bishops Conference Oceania (FCBCO) in Port
Cardinal Parolin was welcomed by Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, Apostolic Nuncio to PNG and Solomon Island and Cardinal John Ribat, Archbishop of Port Moresby.
“Gut moning long yupela olgeta (Good morning everyone),” Cardinal Parolin said to a rousing welcome as he greeted the huge crowd that braved the rain to meet him at the Jackson International Airport.
He spoke of his joy at being able to be among the people of Papua New Guinea.
“I come as Secretary of State of His Holiness Pope Francis and I know that your welcome is also a sign of your affection for him,” he said.
“The Holy Father asked me to assure you of his closeness and of his prayers for your country. Let us hope we can share in these days a good experience of the love of God.”
General Secretary for Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Fr Victor Roche welcomed the cardinal for attending the assembly.
During the FCBCO, 72 bishops from the four different conferences – Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Conferentia Episcopalis Pacifici, New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands – will discuss issues that are of importance to Oceania and the region.
The Cardinal will celebrate the Opening Mass at Caritas Secondary School today.
A mass for the religious will be celebrated at St Joseph’s Parish tomorrow while a mass and conference for the laity will be held at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Boroko, on Sunday. Cardinal Parolin returns to Rome later that day.
By Jason Dom