PNG's first cardinal says the church must focus on the poor

11:51 am on 12 October 2016

The first Catholic bishop of Papua New Guinea to be appointed a cardinal says he will share the message of his country's needs with the world.

The Archbishop of Port Moresby, John Ribat, said he was surprised and shocked when he heard the news, but said it is consistent with Pope Francis' approach to appoint cardinals from developing nations.

He is currently the second cardinal from Pacific countries after the Pope elevated Bishop Soane Mafi of Tonga last year.

The new cardinal will be 60 in February and will take part in the vote for the next pope.

He said Pope Francis is trying to get Christians to see the church in a new way.

"The church is for the poor, that's how he sees it and that's I think what's in his mind and how he wants to show it, not only to the traditional places but even to reach out to the small, small places."

Archbishop John Ribat will be elevated to cardinal in Rome on November the 19th.