Congrats Cardinal-designate Soter Fernandez

The headlines of October 16 HERALD, “Malaysia gets its first cardinal” was just good news for my Form One Catechism students from Sabah.

Nov 02, 2016

The Editor,
The headlines of October 16 HERALD, “Malaysia gets its first cardinal” was just good news for my Form One Catechism students from Sabah. They remembered that their favourite Parliamentarian from GE 13, and now Ambassador of Malaysia to the Holy See, Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, may have helped in securing more than an Olympic gold. However, the Holy See has to be thorough for such an important appointment and our Cardinal-elect has, to his credit, the qualities to be worthy of this august appointment.

The Malaysian Catholic Church should also be congratulated for Luke 6:43 says: Every tree can be told by its own fruit. The mustard seed left by the Foreign Priests has grown bigger than the mulberry tree. Our Cardinal-designate worked very well in the 1970s through the 1980s with the Aggiornamento leading to the formation of the Basic Ecclesial communites. The French priests passed on the baton and they helped in drawing up the architecture of the social structure of the present Malaysian Church.

The late Fr Catel had the blueprint and the plans of “Being a new Church” in thick volumes. It is sad that he is not able to read about the Penang Diocese Bishop Soter Fernandez of the 1980s who is going to be a cardinal.

Neither can the late Fr Phillips Muthu whom Cardinal-designate Soter Fernandez guided through the seminary years. It was at the funeral Mass on September 13, 2016 at St Jude’s Church, Rawang where Cardinal-elect Soter Fernandez said, “Nothing happens by chance.” How very prophetic!

Benildus Tan
Kuala Lumpur

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