Pope appoints new archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
Julian Leow Beng Kim to be first Chinese Malaysian archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
Fr Leow worked for six years in the construction industry before going on to study for the priesthood
- Gerard Oâ€™Connell for Vatican Insider
- July 4, 2014
Pope Francis has appointed a 50-year old Chinese Malaysian priest, Julian Leow Beng Kim, as the new archbishop of Kuala Lumpur.
The announcement was made simultaneously in the Vatican and Kuala Lumpur, July 3. Archbishop Joseph Marino, the papal nuncio, broke the news at the archbishop’s residence in the federal capital.
“I accepted the position in obedience, and after prayer," Bishop-elect Leow told the media.
He emphasized the importance of dialogue with the other religions and said he "is looking forward to having inter-religious dialogues and fostering closer ties with Malaysians of various races and faiths", The Star reported.
"Once dialogue is shut out, there will be a lot of misinterpretation. Inter-religious dialogue is important for the whole country and we will find unity in diversity," The Star reported him as saying.
“Dialogue is important, not only for me but the whole country, where we are able to sit down together, be passionate about our own faith, and respect each other" the Sundaily quoted him as saying.
He wisely refused to comment on the controversial question regarding the use of the word Allah by Christians that has resulted in a recent court decision, saying he would reserve his views on this for now but would speak at the appropriate time.
“Let us make Malaysia a wonderful place to live and work, a diversity of ethnic, culture and religion, and let this bind us as unity is our diversity," he said, according to MSN Malaysia News.
Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, has a population of 30.2 million people, made up of three main ethnic groups: Malays, Chinese and peoples of the Asian sub-continent. Most of the country’s 985,000 Catholics are of Chinese or Indian origin, and up to now the archbishops of Kuala Lumpur (KL) have been of Indian origin.
Source: Vatican Insider