The public consistory on the creation of new cardinals by Pope Francis, has confirmed, Sir John Ribat, as one of the new cardinal’s in the Catholic Church.
Sir John from Volavolo Village in Rabaul District of East New Britain Province is a Missionary of the Sacred Heart.
He was confirmed with 16 other new cardinals in Rome yesterday.
The Consistory was initiated during the closing of the Jubilee Year of Mercy where Pope Francis closed the Holy Door at Saint Peter’s Basilica.
In his homily, Pope Francis called for the spirit of hope and mercy to continue for people to forgive each other.
And for the world leaders to make gestures of peace and reconciliation.
The new Cardinals got dressed in red robes and received the red hat, that symbolises ‘your readiness to act with courage, even to the shedding of your blood’” for the Catholic Church.
The Consistory of Papua New Guinea’s first ever Cardinal, Sir John Ribat and 16 others makes them eligible to vote in the next secret conclave to elect a new Pope.
Known as cardinal electors, they will vote for the new Pope to head the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, until the age of 80.
General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Father Victor Roche also accompanied the new cardinal.
Fr Victor said, “It’s a time-honored ceremony to elevate new cardinals.”
Cardinal Sir John Ribat speaking with Vatican Radio, said one of the greatest messages was to request for the Pope to visit Papua New Guinea.