Cardinal William Goh of Singapore during Mass with the participants of the FABC General Conference in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. SCREEN GRAB FROM YOUTUBE/FABC

By Roy Lagarde

October 17, 2022

Manila, Philippines

Singapore’s first cardinal exhorted his fellow bishops to “stand firm” as shepherds of the Catholic Church in Asia, especially against what he called as the ‘erosion’ of truth and justice.

Cardinal William Goh said during Sunday Mass before an assembly of Asian bishops in Thailand that the present challenges call the church more urgently to act as “courageous” shepherds.

“Defending the Gospel requires us to stand up against the erosion of truth, of justice, the fight against discrimination, violence, and to alleviate the poverty of our people,” Goh said in his homily.

Among these challenges, according to him, is the attack on the traditional culture and values of society, of marriage, family and even gender.

“We are living in a confused state,” he said.

Calling the Asian bishops to be witnesses, the cardinal stressed the importance of prayer, and the clergy and the laity journeying together.

While there is a time to be silent, according to him, there is also time to speak and act.

“Not every time we need to speak. But when the time comes that we have to speak, we must speak. Not to speak will be an act of irresponsibility,” Goh said.

“As leaders we need to be firm when it is necessary,” he added.

More than 150 bishops have gathered in Bangkok since Oct. 12 for the general conference of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC).

The meeting, which will culminate on Oct. 30, also marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the federation.

The past few days were highlighted with the segment “Visita Asia,” with reports on the emerging realities from different episcopal conferences.

Speaking for the U.S bishops conference on Oct. 15, Filipino-American Bishop Oscar Solis of Salt Lake City assured their communion with the FABC.


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