Statements, Letters & News

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Funeral Mass Livestream on Malacca Johore Diocese YouTube:

(Monday, 24 April 2023, 11:00am)

22 April 2023

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Right Reverend Bishop Emeritus James Chan Soon Cheong (age 97), the first bishop of the Malacca Johore Diocese. Bishop James returned peacefully to the Lord at approximately 9:15 am on Saturday, 22 April 2023, at Graceville, MAJODI Centre, Jalan Masai, Plentong, Johor. He had been in good health right up till his demise.

Details of the official wake and funeral are as follows:

The body will lie in state at the Divine Mercy Chapel in Sacred Heart Cathedral from today until after the 6 pm Mass on Sunday, 23 April 2023, where it will be transferred to the Cathedral.

Funeral Mass Livestream on Malacca Johore Diocese YouTube:

Funeral Mass:
Monday, 24 April 2023
Time: 11:00 am
Sacred Heart Cathedral
1729 Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, 80050 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Presided by Bishop Bernard Paul
(After Mass, the cortège will leave for burial at Ulu Tiram Catholic Cemetery, Johor)

His Lordship, Right Reverend Bernard Paul, the Bishop of Malacca Johore and the clergy of the Diocese mourn the passing of this diocese’s first Bishop, extend their condolences and prayers to the family and relatives of Bishop Emeritus James Chan, and are united with all who are saddened by his loss with prayer and support.

View/Download Obituary Notice

View/Download Funeral Card

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei (CBCMSB) with the executive secretary, and the Apostolic Nuncio, HE Abp Wojciech Zaluski during their meet at the Minor Basilica of St Anne, Bukit Mertajam, January 2023

BUKIT MERTAJAM  The 111th Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei (CBCMSB) and the bi-annual general meeting of the Conference of Religious Major Superiors (CRMS) was held under the maternal embrace of St Anne, at the Minor Basilica in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

The bishops, together with the Apostolic Nuncio, the major religious superiors, lay faithful, representatives of other religious traditions and state dignitaries had gathered on the evening of 9 January 2023, to celebrate the solemn declaration of the Minor Basilica in a long and meaningful ceremony. 

Some of the other matters discussed by the bishops included the processes towards the Malaysian Pastoral Convention in 2026, the outstanding work around the National Seminary Charter and seminary concerns, the ongoing efforts of the Laudato Si Action Platform, the Caritas Malaysia Relief Fund Appeal 2023, the progress of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants, Itinerants & Victims of Trafficking, upgrading of Catechetical materials, the World Youth Day in Lisbon, the Malaysian Catholic Youth Ministers Committee (MCYMC) initiatives, Inter-faith and Ecumenical matters, and Liturgical concerns.

The next meeting of the CBCMSB will be held at MAJODI from 09 to 14 July, 2023. The Bp President concluded by exhorting everyone to “Be true and faithful to the processes prepared by the Church and you will be faithful to the Holy Spirit.”

Read Full Article on Today’s Catholic site

Another Cardinal-elect from the Conference!
30 May 2022 

Archbishop William Goh, 65, of Singapore became the first archbishop-head from Singapore to be named a cardinal by Pope Francis and the third from the Conference of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei. It is not only an honour for the city-church but also for the state of Singapore and the Conference. He is among the 21 new cardinals named on Sunday in Rome.

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei (CBCMSB), Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang, offered his felicitations and fraternal support from all the bishops and churches in the region.

View Press Statement

Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST)




Pope announces 21 new Cardinals from around the world

Pope Francis announces that he will create 21 new Cardinals at a Consistory on Saturday, 27 August. They represent the Church worldwide, and reflect a wide variety of cultures, contexts and pastoral ministries.

Eight of the newly named Cardinals are from Europe, six from Asia, two from Africa, one from North America, and four from Central and Latin America. Among them is Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, Archbishop of Singapore (Singapore). Read more…


Global Catholic institutions offer free theology classes ahead of 2023 Vatican synod

Bishops, priests, religious, and lay people can avail of free online theology classes ahead of the 2023 synod of bishops in Rome.

The program coordinated is coordinated by members of the theological commission of the general secretariat of the synod of bishops who have been collaborating with the Formación Continua of the Jesuit School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College.

It is offered by the Church of Latin America with the sponsorship of continental episcopal conferences, including the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).

The program is the first project of all the institutions that came together to support the synod.

Those interested to enroll in the classes can register here.

Those “who have been called to the process of ecclesial renewal” are invited to register and avail of the online courses on theology and the practice of “synodality” as part of the church’s two-year project.

“We invite you to get involved in the challenge of imagining and building the Church of the third millennium,” read a statement forwarded by the FABC.


The JP2 Institute opens its doors to the world with two Open Days: the first online on 31 May and the second, presential, on 21 June.

The two initiatives will allow people to get to know a unique Institute, which promotes the family as a school for deeper humanity, as a precious resource that we must care for, protect and accompany.

The two Open Days will include the presentation of the Licentiate and Doctorate courses in THEOLOGY and in Marriage and Family SCIENCES. It will also be possible to visit the Institute’s facilities and meet the lecturers to learn more about the courses, to discuss possible study plans, as well as to meet some of the students coming from over thirty different countries and hear their testimonies.

Other activities offered by the JP2 Institute will also be presented, such as workshops and practical training in the field of pastoral care and family counselling, as well as the research chairs (Wojtyla Chair and Gaudium et Spes Chair), which promote conferences, meetings and in-depth studies particularly dedicated to current issues.

The JP2 Institute also offers international perspectives thanks to foreign sections in the USA, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Benin and India and associated centres in Lebanon, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic.


The ONLINE Open Day will take place on Tuesday 31 May starting at 4pm (CEST). Click here to register

The PRESENTIAL Open Day is scheduled for Tuesday 21 June at 10 am (CEST) as part of the World Meeting of Families. Click here to register










Julien Paparella (Canada) – Licentiate in Theology of Marriage and Family (English)

Leonardo e Luisa (Colombia) – Licentiate in Marriage and Family Sciences (Italian)

Fabio Battistella (Brasile) – Doctorate in Theology of Marriage and Family (portoghese)


Pontificio Istituto Teologico Giovanni Paolo II
Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, 4
00120 Città del Vaticano
Tel.: +39 06 698 86 113
Fax: +39 06 698 86 103



Statement by His Eminence Charles Cardinal Bo, President of FABC
Concerning His Eminence Cardinal Joseph ZEN SDB
14 May 2022

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As President of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, and following the arrest on 11 May of my brother Cardinal and fellow Salesian, Cardinal Joseph Zen, I wish to express my profound concern about the situation for human rights and threats to religious freedom in Hong Kong. I call on Catholics and the wider Christian community around the world to pray for Hong Kong, and I urge the international community to continue to monitor the situation and speak out for freedom and justice.


Wars do not benefit anyone! Appeal for Prayer and Fasting for Peace and Justice
2 March 2022 

Like you, the Catholic church in this region is deeply concerned over the war in Ukraine and its impact on global peace and justice, affecting the lives of peoples everywhere. The history and causes of war may be complex, but wars in the long term do not benefit anyone, including us. On the contrary, it only brings destruction and leaves a trail of immense suffering and displacements. Therefore, we join the chorus of Christian churches and leaders across Asia, together with all people of Faith and Goodwill, in humbly appealing for peace and justice.


Suggestions for Dioceses and Episcopal Conferences on the preparation of the synthesis

Synod 2021 – 2023 For a Synodal Church:
Communion, Participation and Mission

This document is intended primarily to support the Episcopal Conferences/Synods of the Churches sui iuris in the elaboration of their synthesis, but it could also be useful to the facilitators of the synodal process within each local Church, at the level of individual dioceses/parishes, parishes, grassroots communities, associations and movements, and spontaneous groups. Each local reality is invited to creatively adapt it to its own context.


“Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest,
if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity,
let us do good to all” (Gal 6:9-10)


The Vatican has extended the period during which the faithful may gain a plenary indulgence for prayers for the deceased. Because of the Covid epidemic, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced on October 28 that the indulgences—usually granted during the first eight days of November—would be available throughout the month.

The plenary indulgence is available, under the usual conditions, for those who visit a cemetery to pray for the deceased. A second indulgence for commemorating the feast of All Souls on November 2 now available throughout the month.


Worldwide Telecasts Easter 2023

Information on Worldwide Telecasts Easter 2023
(The times noted below are for the scheduled start and conclusion of each celebration)

Information on Worldwide Telecasts Easter 2023

For the latest updates, visit worldtelecast/Easter 2023


Good Friday Collections – Call to Solidarity with the Christian community of the Holy Land

Click to view/download: