PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Joseph Kopapa elected as archbishop

June 15, 2010

The provincial council of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea has elected the Rt. Rev. Joseph Kopapa, bishop of Popondota diocese, as its new archbishop and primate.

The election took place on June 11 at the council's meeting in Port Moresby, according to a release from the province.

The archbishop "presides over the provincial council and House of Bishops. The archbishop also plays the key representative of the Anglican Province of PNG in dealing with global Anglican Communion issues," according to the release.

Kopapa, who comes from Tufi District in Oro Province, succeeds the former primate, James Ayong, who retired in 2009.

The church in New Guinea was a missionary diocese of Queensland (Australia) before becoming an Anglican province, with five dioceses, on Feb. 27, 1977.