- Feb 18, 2020
When Cardinal John Ribat of Papua New Guinea was young, he and his neighbors noticed that their well water tasted of salt. Crops also failed as the soil became salty.
Pope Francis’s picks for the four presidents delegate during a looming summit of bishops in October clearly symbolize his drive to embrace the peripheries.
People of the southwest Pacific Ocean nation of Papua New Guinea face dual threats from rising sea levels and the advent of undersea mining for valuable metals, the country’s first cardinal said during a visit to the nation’s capital.
Cardinal John Ribat of Papua New Guinea is all for policies of compassion and welcome for immigrants around the world, but he also insists that those immigrants have to do their part, showing respect for their host societies and avoiding feeding the crime and security fears that often underlie attitudes of closure and resistance.
Pope Francis sometimes seems to want to honor a specific place, spotlight a specific cause, or honor a specific person when he awards a cardinal’s red hat, and in Archbishop John Ribat of Papua New Guinea, he would appear to have done all three.