29 Apr 2002

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of PNG condems priests standing for elections

9:13 am on 29 April 2002

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands has issued a statement strongly condeming a decision by five Catholic priests to contest PNG's national elections.

It says the priests choosing to run for Parliament are acting in direct opposition to Catholic Church law which states that clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which involve the exercise of civil power.

The Conference has re-issued parts of a statement put out a year ago which says when priests enter politics in PNG or the Solomons they blur the boundaries of their ministries.

It says they have the wrong idea of how to help people and that the separation of church and state enables the church to fulfil its proper function.