The Bishops from Solomon Islands were not able to participate due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements.
The theme of the meeting was: “Our Catholic Laity: Holy, Formed and Sent for Service”.
The meeting opened with a solemn Mass presided by Sir John Cardinal Ribat, MSC, Archbishop of Port Moresby.
Archbishop-elect Rochus Tatamai, MSC, in his position as President of the Catholic Bishops Conference PNGSI, presented his report covering important accomplishments of the past three years.
The bulk of the meetings was dedicated to a presentation and discussion reports from the various Bishop Deputies of the following Commissions: Christian Formation, Mission and Integral Human Development. These Commissions plan, coordinate and execute the substantial pastoral and social outreach of the Catholic Church throughout PNGSI, in the areas of evangelisation, faith, formation, health, education, family life, young people, social communication and liturgy, among others.
Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, D.D., addressed the Bishops on matters regarding the relationship of the church in PNGSI with the Universal Church, including a possible visit of Pope Francis to PNG sometime in the future.
The Catholic Professional Association president, Paul Harricknen, gave a presentation on some issues arising out of the recent Pandemic Act.
Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp addressed the Bishops on the ongoing partnership between the Australian government and the churches in PNG regarding various development programs, especially in the areas of health and education.
Anton Bal, Archbishop of Madang, was elected by the assembled Bishops as the new President of the Catholic Bishops Conference for the next three years. Otto Separy, Bishop of Bereina, was elected as the Vice-President.
The event culminates with a press conference on Thursday, July 2nd, at the CBC headquarters at Waigani.
The AGM, originally set to be held in the first quarter of the year, was deferred due to the lockdown measures passed by the government to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.