Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - "The Church is apostolic because it is based on the teachings and the example of the apostles and on their apostolate. Reading the Acts of the Apostles is a challenge for us, because we are called to emulate these acts": said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, who spoke about the importance of "being united in the Church" in his homily of the Mass celebrated with the 80 bishops of Oceania. In front of over 2,000 faithful, including priests, religious and laity gathered in the Caritas Technical School of Boroko, in a Eucharist characterized by dances and music of the local tradition, Cardinal Parolin stressed the obedience of the apostles to God, stressing that "obedience to God comes before obedience to man". The Vatican Secretary of State encouraged the faithful to be "obedient to the work of God and to follow in the footsteps of Peter and the apostles".
Cardinal Parolin is participating in the Assembly of the Episcopal Conferences of Oceania in progress in Port Moresby from 11 to 18 April. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, Cardinal John Ribat, Archbishop of Port Moresby expressed the gratitude of the local Church to Cardinal Parolin, above all "for the warmth, spontaneity and cordiality" and thanked all those who helped prepare the event. The Cardinal stressed that "the Eucharistic celebration was an opportunity to entrust again the needs of the nation and of the people to the Lord".
In the subsequent assembly work session, the Bishops discussed the delicate issues that are being experienced in Oceania. One of the issues that emerged was that of refugees. The case of those refugees who came from all over the world, who, according to a political agreement between Papua New Guinea and Australia, are brought by the Australian government to detention centers on islands that belong to the national territory of Papua. The controversial Australian detention center on Manus Island was closed in October 2017, but about 600 asylum seekers in Australia are on the island. They now live in a legal limbo, in despair, moved, following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea, to "transitional structures" on the same island. In fact they are blocked, without the possibility to leave the island or work, without documents. The issue of immigration is one of the topics on the agenda in the assembly of Bishops. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 13/4/2018)