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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Penang bishop made a cardinal in Vatican ceremony


The Catholic bishop of Penang, Sebastian Francis, receiving his cardinal’s hat from the head of the church, Pope Francis, at a Vatican ceremony today. (Vatican pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Catholic bishop of Penang, Sebastian Francis, was inducted as a prince of the Roman Catholic Church, making him eligible to elect the next Pope and head of the church.

He was among 21 prelates from around the world who were created cardinals in a consistory at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, presided over by Pope Francis.

The new cardinals kneeled before the pope to receive the two symbols of their high office: a scarlet four-cornered cap known as a biretta, and a cardinal’s ring.

Cardinal Francis, 72, is among the 18 new cardinals under the age of 80, who are eligible to take part in the next papal election. Francis and the bishop of Hong Kong, Stephen Chow, were the only Asians to be appointed cardinals.

Francis is the second Malaysian, and the second Penang bishop to be made a cardinal, following the late Anthony Soter Fernandez, a former archbishop of Kuala Lumpur who was bishop of Penang from 1977 to 1983.- FMT

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