11 Jul 2014

Late Fiji bishop praised by successor

6:47 am on 11 July 2014

Fiji's Catholic Archbishop has paid tribute to his late predecessor, Archbishop Petero Mataca, who will be laid to rest today.

Archbishop Peter Loy Chong succeeded Bishop Mataca in June last year, and the 81-year-old died last week in Suva after a long illness.

The late bishop was the first i-Taukei bishop and led the Catholic Church in Fiji from 1976.

Archbishop Loy Chong says the well-known figure was slow in his consideration of decisions and therefore a responsible leader.

"He will definitely go down as one of the historical figures in this country. One because he served as the local bishop for 38 years, and he's a quiet person, he does things in a quiet way. He does not react immediately, he's a reflective person."

Archbishop Peter Loy Chong will preside over today's funeral, before Petero Mataca is buried in the crypt of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva.