MP welcomes new Archbishop of Rabaul

Member for Gazelle and Health Minister, Jelta Wong, has welcomed the episcopal installation of Rochus Josef Tatamai, MSC as Archbishop of Rabaul.

Tatamai takes over from Archbishop Francisco Panfilo SDB who has served the Rabaul archdiocese for 11 years.

Bishop Rochus, from Rakunai Parish in Central Gazelle LLG of Gazelle District, was previously serving as the Bishop of Kavieng since 2018. He also served as the Bishop of Kerema and Bereina respectively.

Minister Wong said: “In every nation, the Catholic Church truly has been a resounding moral voice calling on citizens to listen to the voice of conscience and moral virtues.

“The influence of the church has been profound in PNG.”

Minister Wong said PNG as a Christian country aligns herself with the Catholic view that the principle of family is based on the natural institution of marriage between a man and a woman and that fidelity in marriage is paramount, as strong families are essential in shaping societies and the nation.

He expressed appreciation to the Catholic Church for its support and help towards the social development and spiritual welfare of the nation.

Minister Wong praised the Catholic Church for their ongoing partnership with the government over the years in delivering services to particularly the disadvantaged and inaccessible areas of PNG.

He acknowledged all churches for delivering much-needed services to the rural populace, especially in the areas of health and education.

Other important dignitaries that were present to witness this historical event at Vunapope in Kokopo on Tuesday September 29, include senior Statesman and former Prime Minister Sir Rabbie Namaliu, United Church Bishop of the New Britain Region, Reverend August Waninara, Governor of ENB Nakikus Konga, former Governor and Deputy Prime Minister Chief Sir Leo Dion, Apostolic Nuncio to PNG and the Solomon Islands Archbishop Mathew Kurian and Cardinal Sir John Ribat.

The eucharistic celebration for the first local and 8th Archbishop of Rabaul was attended by Catholic faithfuls from Manus, WNB, New Ireland, Bougainville, Kerema, Bereina and other provinces.

Minister Wong wished the new Archbishop Rochus Josef Tatamai well in his endeavours in guiding the flock of Catholic faithfuls and maintain the unity of all Christians.

(Minister Wong congratulating Archbishop Rochus Tatamai)

Press release