William Goh

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His Excellency

William Goh Seng Chye, DD, STL
Archbishop of Singapore
SeeArchdiocese of Singapore
PredecessorArchbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia
Consecration22 February 2013
Personal details
Born (1957-06-25) 25 June 1957 (age 62)
DenominationRoman Catholic
ResidenceArchbishop's House
ProfessionCatholic Bishop
MottoUt Vivant
(That they may live)
John 10:10-11[1]
Coat of armsWilliam Goh Seng Chye, DD, STL's coat of arms
Styles of
William Goh
Coat of arms of William Goh Seng Chye.svg
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleHis Grace
Religious styleArchbishop

Most Rev Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, D.D., S.T.L., (simplified Chinese: 吴成才; traditional Chinese: 吳成才; pinyin: Wú Chéngcái; born 25 June 1957) is the fourth and current Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore. Archbishop Goh succeeded Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia as Archbishop of Singapore on 18 May 2013. Archbishop Goh was the fourth Rector of St Francis Xavier Major Seminary in Singapore. He was ordained as a priest on May 1, 1985 by the late Archbishop Gregory Yong at the Church of the Holy Family.

Early life[edit]

Archbishop Goh was schooled at Montfort Secondary School, where he obtained an "A" Level Certificate. He completed his study in Philosophy at the Major Seminary (College General) in Penang, Malaysia, and did his theological studies in the Major Seminary in Singapore. Archbishop Goh was in the first cohort of seminarians to graduate at the newly built St Francis Xavier Major Seminary in Ponggol, Singapore. After his graduation from the Major Seminary, he was posted to the Church of the Holy Cross where he served as an Assistant Priest to then Rev. Nicholas Chia (who later became Archbishop). In 1985, he received a Bachelor of Theology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University (Pontificia University Urbania) in Rome.[2] Archbishop Goh continued his studies in Rome, receiving an Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology from Pontificia University Gregoriana. After returning to Singapore, he was posted as a Resident Formator and Initiation Year Director at the Major Seminary and lecturer in Systematic Theology. in 1992 he was concurrently appointed as the Parish Priest of St Anne's Church. In 1995, Archbishop Goh became a member of the Theological Advisory Commission of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference. Whilst in the Major Seminary, he became Dean of Studies, then procurator and finally Rector of Major Seminary, where he remained until he assumed his office as the Archbishop of Singapore. Archbishop Goh was the Spiritual Director of the Archdiocesan Catholic Spirituality Centre, Amplify Youth Ministry, Jesus Youth Singapore and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Experience.[2]

Appointment as Coadjuctor Archbishop[edit]

On December 29, 2012 the Vatican announced that Fr William Goh has been appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore.[2] He is the second Singapore-born clergyman to hold the office of Archbishop. As Coadjuctor, he assisted the current Archbishop until he retired at age 75. He was ordained as Coadjuctor Archbishop of Singapore on 22 February 2013. His principal consecrator was the Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Singapore, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli and his Principal Co-Consecrators were Archbishop Nicholas Chia and Archbishop Murphy Pakiam. His consecration was attended by the President of the Republic of Singapore, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Chief Justice of Singapore Sundaresh Menon, state dignitaries, twenty bishops, more than 170 priests and an estimated 14,000 Roman Catholics, together with representatives of the major religions in Singapore.

At his appointment, many well-wishers sent their greetings to the future Archbishop . In his letter to Coadjuctor Archbishop Goh, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the Singapore Government has always enjoyed a "close and cooperative relations" with the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore and hope to continue and strengthen the good relations with the future Archbishop.[3]

The day after the episcopal ordination, Coadjutor Archbishop Goh hosted a reception at the Catholic Spirituality Centre. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife were among the guests. Invited guests also included Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Members of Parliament, and members of the Inter-Religious Organisations (IROs) .

Coadjutor Archbishop Goh address the issue of secularism saying: "The greatest concern of the church today is simply this - that the world is becoming too secularised. In itself it is not wrong. It is when secularisation becomes secularism - that is to say anti-church and anti-religion. And so without religion, without faith in the absolute, because God is the absolute, then we don't have an objective foundation for moral values ... As a result, people are divided, people are fragmented, because it is all based on relativism, which simply means to say, it is up to each one to think. How can we build a united society when we don't have a reference point, a basis for unity?" [4]

The Coadjutor Archbishop also said that the Church is concerned with the common good of society such as justice, harmony and progress and will continue to work with the government to achieve these common good for society. Coadjutor Archbishop Goh added that the Church recognises that the just ordering of society is the responsibility and purview of the State, and that the Church cannot take over the role of the government, nor impose its values on believers of other faiths. When asked what was his first priority as Archbishop of Singapore, he said it was to engage the youths of Singapore as they are "vibrant, creative and full of energy". He added that he would like to meet them to understand their aspirations and how they can contribute to the growth of the Roman Catholic Church.[5]

The Coadjutor Archbishop also pledge to restudy the structure of the church and make it more effective and efficient so that there will be more communication and understanding within the church so that the church may operate and work in unity and peace.[5]

Installation as Archbishop[edit]

On 18 May 2013, William Goh was officially installed as Archbishop of Singapore. A press release from his office stated that one of his first tasks was to “strengthen the fraternal bonds in the Presbyterium and harness the charisms and passion of his brother priests” so that they can empower the laity to be “co-responsible in the mission of the Church”. The newly installed Archbishop of Singapore also announced a new line-up of key office holders.

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the seat of Archbishop William Goh.


  1. ^ "Archbishop-Elect's Coat Of Arms". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  2. ^ a b c "Nomina dell'Arcivescovo Coadiutore di Singapore" (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-16.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Spykerman, Kimberly (23 February 2013). "14,000 at ceremony to ordain S'pore's future Archbishop". Today. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  4. ^ Spykerman, Kimberly (23 February 2013). "New Catholic Archbishop meets political and religious leaders". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  5. ^ a b Spykerman, Kimberly (22 February 2013). "William Goh ordained as new head of Catholic Church". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
Preceded by
Nicholas Gerald Chia Yeck Joo
Archbishop of Singapore
Succeeded by