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Brunei's first native Bishop will also become its first Cardinal


On October, 25 Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei received a very unexpected surprise.

POPE FRANCIS
“This coming 28 November, on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent, I will hold a Consistory for the appointment of 13 new Cardinals.”

The Apostolic Vicar of Brunei was among the 13 new cardinals that pope Francis will appoint in the next consistory.

CORNELIUS SIM
Apostolic Vicar of Brunei
“Completely unexpected, I’m still at that level. but of course, on behalf of the community, it is prudent for me to say that our community has been recognized whether in a direct way or indirect way, the contribution that little churches make to the Universal Church.”

In 2004, St. Pope John Paul II appointed Father Sim Vicar Apostolic. The following year, he became the first local bishop of Brunei, a small Southeast Asian country that is predominately Muslim.

He is thankful that the pope recognizes that the Church exists in places where there is not much publicity, but where faith is very much alive.

CORNELIUS SIM
Apostolic Vicar of Brunei
“We are a periphery within a periphery
“We’re small, but I think we do contribute. We are people that love the Church. I’m not saying that because that’s a nice thing to say, but you know, the Church is our mother.”

It is unclear whether Bishop Sim will travel to the Vatican for the consistory or receive his biretta in his native country, something he will proudly receive in front of his own people.

Christian Campos