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Catholic Archbishop William Goh to become Singapore's first cardinal

The leader of Singapore's Catholic Church is one of 21 new cardinals to be appointed by Pope Francis.

Catholic Archbishop William Goh to become Singapore's first cardinal

The Catholic archbishop of Singapore William Goh. (Photo: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore)

VATICAN CITY: Archbishop William Goh, the leader of Singapore's Catholic Church, is among 21 new cardinals to be appointed in August. 

Pope Francis announced on Sunday (May 29) that he would appoint the new cardinals, including an Italian leading the Church in Mongolia, again putting his stamp on the future of Catholicism.

Cardinals are second to the Pope in the Church's hierarchy.

Of the 21, 16 are cardinal electors under 80 years old and thus eligible to enter a conclave to elect his successor after his death or resignation.

Archbishop Goh, 64, who is the fourth leader of the Catholic Church in Singapore, is one of the 16 who meets the cut-off age.

Responding to queries from CNA, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore said it was "honoured" to have Archbishop Goh "elevated to the Cardinalate".

The archdiocese added that the archbishop is "deeply humbled" by the new appointment. 

"However, Archbishop (Goh) is conscious that this honour and new responsibility conferred on him is also a recognition of the contribution of the faithful in the archdiocese for helping him to build a vibrant, evangelising and missionary church," it said. 

Archbishop Goh was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Singapore in 1985. He was then appointed as the archbishop in May 2013, taking over from former archbishop Nicholas Chia, who held the top post from 2001 to 2013.

After the Aug 27 ceremony to officially install the 21 new cardinals, known as a consistory, Pope Francis will have appointed about 83 of the some 133 cardinal electors, increasing the possibility his successor will be a man reflecting his position on key issues.

The new electors include Archbishop Giorgio Marengo, an Italian who is currently the Catholic Church's administrator in Mongolia. The country borders China, where the Vatican is trying to improve the situation for Catholics.

Other cardinal electors come from France, Nigeria, Brazil, India, the United States, East Timor, Italy, Ghana and Paraguay.

Once again, Pope Francis passed over archbishops of major cities that traditionally had cardinals before his election in 2013, preferring to appoint men in places where the Church is small or growing.

Source: Reuters/ng

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