Brunei bishop named one of 13 new cardinals

James Kon

Bishop Cornelius Sim of the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam has been named one of the 13 new cardinals by Pope Francis yesterday.

The Pope made the announcement at the end of his Angelus address, revealing the names of the new cardinals to the crowd in St Peter’s Square. Cardinal-designate Cornelius Sim is the first cardinal-designate from Brunei Darussalam and also the first Cardinal-designate from Borneo.

According to a statement from Catholic Bishops Conference of Singapore Malaysia and Brunei, Bishop Cornelius Sim said, “I do not know why I was chosen. It is a surprise.”

He took it in his stride and said, “I accept this new responsibility.”

The College of Cardinals, of which Bishop Sim will be a member, not only votes on who becomes the next Pope, but are also seen as the closest advisors of the Pope.

The college has current 128 members.

Bishop Sim, 69, was born in Seria in the Belait District.

He worked in the field of engineering for seven years before starting his priestly studies.

He was Brunei Darussalam’s second local priest when ordained in 1989.

The bishop was named Vicar General of Brunei Darussalam in 1995 and then two years later, Prefect of the Apostolic Prefecture of Brunei.