William Goh

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His Excellency
William Goh Seng Chye, DD, STL
Archbishop of Singapore
See Archdiocese of Singapore
Appointed 2012
Predecessor Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia
Successor Incumbent
Orders
Ordination 1985
Consecration 23 February 2013
Personal details
Born (1957-06-25) 25 June 1957 (age 60)
Singapore
Nationality Singaporean
Denomination Roman Catholic
Residence Archbishop's House
Profession Catholic Bishop
Motto Ut Vivant
(That they may live)
John 10:10-11[1]
Coat of arms William Goh Seng Chye, DD, STL's coat of arms
Styles of
William Goh
Coat of arms of William Goh Seng Chye.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style His Grace
Religious style Archbishop

Most Rev Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye, D.D., S.T.L., (simplified Chinese: 吴诚才; traditional Chinese: 吳誠才; pinyin: Wú Chéng Xái; born 25 June 1957) is the fourth and current Archbishop of Singapore. Archbishop Goh succeed 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 Junior, Secondary Schools and Catholic Junior College, where he obtain 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 in Rome.[2] Archbishop Goh continued his studies in Rome, receiving an Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University. After returning to Singapore, he was posted as the Parish Priest of St Anne's Church while concurrently lecturing Systematic Theology at the Major Seminary. In 1992, he was posted as a Resident Formator and Initiation Year Director at the Major Seminary. 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. 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 will be the second Singapore-born clergyman to hold the office of Archbishop. As Coadjuctor, he will assist the current Archbishop until he retires when he reaches 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 priest and an estimated 14,000 Roman Catholics, together with representatives of the major religions in Singapore. He still serves as member of the Senate of Priests, member of the College of Consultors, ex-officio member of the Archdiocesan Vocation Team.

After the Vatican announced that Fr. William Goh would be appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore, many well-wishers sent their greetings to the future Archbishop . These included Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Apostolic Nuncio of Singapore, His Excellency Leopoldo Girelli, Archbishop Nicholas Chia, Major Archbishop George Cardinal Alencherry and 15 past and present Archbishops and Bishops from Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Myanmar. 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 engaged 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.

References[edit]

  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. 
  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
2013-
Succeeded by
Incumbent