Catholic bishops reveal joint pastoral plan - Solomon Star News

Catholic bishops reveal joint pastoral plan

13 October 2014

At a recent Mass, the bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands revealed a roadmap for pastoral planning to guide the transformation of their societies.

“The new evangelization is at the core of the pastoral plan, along with the pastoral care of the family, the poor, the youth, street kids, as well as the media and a wide range of social concerns,” Fr. Giorgio Licini, head of social communications for the bishops' conference, said.

The pastoral plan's priorities are adapted to the unique challenges facing the population of the two island nations located in Melanesia.

In Papua New Guinea, nearly all the population is Christian, and 27 percent is Catholic.

Yet many Christians there integrate indigenous beliefs and practices into their religious life.

Many indigenous Papua New Guineans believe in sorcery, and retain such practices as contraception, abortion, and polygamy.

In 1945, the nation gained a saint in Blessed Peter To Rot, a catechist who was martyred following his denunciation of polygamy.

The pastoral plan is meant to underline the importance and the role of the Gospel in transforming Papua New Guinean society, especially in correcting such traditional practices as polygamy.

Archbishop Michael Banach, apostolic nuncio to Papua New Guinea and to the Solomon Islands, at the pastoral plan’s unveiling that this is “the first time that Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands has worked out a common pastoral plan”.