Cardinal Sim of Brunei dies at age 69

Cardinal Sim of Brunei dies at age 69

Cardinal Cornelius Sim of Brunei.

By CBCP News

May 29, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Cardinal Cornelius Sim, the first and only cardinal from Brunei, died Saturday in Taiwan where he was undergoing cancer treatment.

The cardinal passed away at around 8:28am in the city of Taoyuan’s Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, the Apostolic Vicariate of Brunei Darussalam said in a statemment.

He was 69.

Monsignor Robert Leong, the vicar general, said that Sim arrived in Taiwan on May 8 for his “cell therapy treatment”.

He said the doctors attended to the cardinal’s health condition every day “but unfortunately everything they did, doesn’t seem to be very effective”.

“He gradually became weaker and has lost most of his vitality. Sadly, he passed away this morning,” Leong said.

An engineering graduate at Dundee University in Scotland, he worked in Brunei for seven years before starting his priestly studies.

Ordained in 1989, he became Brunei’s first local priest.

When St. John Paul II elevated Brunei to vicariate apostolic in 2004, he appointed Sim as its first bishop.

Pope Francis elevated him to the rank of cardinal at a consistory on Nov. 28, 2020, along with Cardinal Jose Advincula of Capiz and 11 others.

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, however, Sim and Advincula were not not able to attend the ceremony at the Vatican.

On Dec. 16, 2020, the pope named him member of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy.

Leong said that funeral for the cardinal will be announced at a later date.

“Let us pray for his soul and for the vicariate. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines also expressed sadness over the death of Cardinal Sim, who visited the country in several occasions.

“I am deeply saddened by this news. Cardinal Sim was very close to the bishops of the Philippines,” said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP Vice President.

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