Church in PNG says its no longer a mission territory
At yesterday's conclusion of its week-long General Assembly, the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea has recognised its transformation from a "missionary church" to a self reliant church.
More than 150 delegates from the 19 dioceses in PNG deliberated in discussions, which came up with the final Vision and Mission Statement to guide the church in its work in the new millennium.
National Chairman of the General Assembly Committee Bishop Douglas Young said the Church is more active in its evangelisation and becoming "truly Papua New Guinean" with emphasis on more participation of the laity.
He said that with the signs of the times, the hierarchy must change and bishops must have a mission.
Signs recognised include the influx of Pentecostal churches, which was also noted by Luthern participant in the Assembly Pastor Hermann.
"A lot of new churches are coming up and the mainline churches are losing their members. The Catholic Church as well as the others must find their identity and communicate with their flock," he said.
Other challenges include the family, drugs, guns, violence and many other social problems.
Naispela prosesio long opim GA bung (Catholic Communications Solomon Islands)
The Catholic Church of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands
General Assembly of the Catholic Church of Papua New Guinea
12 Jul 2004