To be chosen as a cardinal was a surprise gift for Sir John Ribat but the new Cardinal says that through God’s wisdom he said yes, and now accepts this calling.
This was his response after Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, revealed the news of his elevation.
His Eminence, Cardinal-Elect, Sir John revealed, he never thought he would be elevated to one of the highest ranks in the Catholic Church.
“I don’t know. For myself, I had no idea that I was to be chose. It was never mentioned to me, and for me, I thought this would never happened to me.
“The Apostolic Nuncio was the one who made the surprise announcement to me. He shook my hands and congratulated me saying that Pope Francis has appointed be to be a cardinal.
“I was shocked and keep quiet telling myself that with the help of God and with his will, may this be done,” Ribat said.
After the consistory on November 19, Sir John Ribat, will be confirmed as a cardinal who will be eligible to vote for any future Pope’s of the Catholic Church, until he reaches the age of 80.
Sir John is now 59 years.
“I am happier to represent my people and vote for new pope in the future. At least we have a voice to represent us at the Vatican,”
It’s indeed a moment of great joy and satisfaction for Papua New Guineans having a cardinal to represent the faithful, in the Pope’s election, which shows the growth and maturity of faith in the country.
Not only that, but Sir John Ribat is the first Papua New Guinean to become a cardinal and the first, from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart congregation.
“I heart is joyful and I would like to thank the people for building the church.”
His Eminence, Cardinal Elect, Sir John Ribat comes from Volavolo Village in Rabaul District, East New Britain Province.
He is a parishioner of Saint Mary’s Parish in the Archdiocese of Rabaul.