Cardinal William Goh officially appointed by Pope Francis, first from Singapore

·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
With his new role, Cardinal William Goh and his fellow cardinals are the second most senior in the ranks of the Roman Catholic clergy after Pope Francis. (PHOTO: Vernon Lee/Yahoo News Singapore)
With his new role, Cardinal William Goh and his fellow cardinals are the second most senior in the ranks of the Roman Catholic clergy after Pope Francis. (PHOTO: Vernon Lee/Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Cardinal William Goh, the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, has been officially appointed by the Vatican, the first ever from the city-state to hold the position.

The 64-year-old former archbishop is one of 20 new cardinals picked from around the world and appointed by Pope Francis during a ceremony on Saturday (27 August) night. Apart from Cardinal Goh, there are five others from Asia who are based in Mongolia, Timor-Leste, India's Goa and Hyderabad as well as South Korea.

The ceremony at St Peter's Basilica is the 85-year-old pope's eighth since being elected in 2013.

With his new role, Cardinal Goh and his fellow cardinals are the second most senior in the ranks of the Roman Catholic clergy after the pope.

With the latest appointments, Pope Francis has chosen 83 out of the 132 cardinals currently qualified to elect a new pope.

Sixteen of the 20 new cardinals, including Cardinal Goh, who are aged under 80 would be eligible for the conclave — the locked-door assembly of cardinals who cast paper ballots to elect a new pontiff.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore said in a statement on Sunday that its community is "jubilant and rejoices" over Cardinal Goh's appointment. Cardinal Goh and his fellow cardinals "promise and swear, from this day forth and as long as (they) live, to remain faithful to Christ and his Gospel, constantly obedient to the Holy Apostolic Roman Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff, become members of the Roman clergy and cooperate more directly in Francis and his canonically elected successors, always to remain in communion with the Catholic Church in (their) words and actions".

Cardinal Goh, who was the 4th Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, began his theological studies in Philosophy at the Major Seminary at Penang (College General), and Theology at the Major Seminary of Singapore.

In 1985, Cardinal Goh was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Singapore. He was Assistant Parish Priest in the Church of the Holy Cross from 1985 to 1989.

He then went on to undertake his Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1992.

Cardinal Goh was formerly Formator, Lecturer, and Rector at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary Spiritual Director of the Catholic Spirituality Centre. He took office as Archbishop on 18 May 2013.

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