Cardinals are personally selected by the Pope. Pope Francis announced the new cardinals from the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica at the end of a special Mass on Sunday, October 9, in the Vatican.
The 59-year-old is among 17 cardinals selected by the pope and is now the sixth cardinal ever selected from the Oceania region.
The group includes men from five countries that had never before had a cardinal, namely PNG, Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, Lesotho and Malaysia.
Other appointees are from Syria, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, Belgium, Mauritius, Mexico, Italy and Albania.
Ribat said the appointment came as a surprise as he never thought and dreamt of it.
“If it is the will of God, then may he give me his grace and strength to fulfil this course and carry out this responsibility.
“I am grateful to accept this call and this appointment may come as personal but it is really for the Church and for our people of PNG.
“It is a great witness to the call of God to all of us Christians and it is a blessing for the Church and for our nation,” said Ribat.
Pope Francis will elevate the new cardinals at a formal ceremony at the Vatican on November 19, the vigil of the conclusion of the Jubilee year for mercy on November 20.
The most important duty of a cardinal is to elect the Pope and remain eligible to vote until age 80, with the number of voting cardinals limited to 120.
They give counsel to the Pope, contribute to the governance of the Church and represent the Pope on occasions around the world.