A PERSONAL TRIBUTE
JOSEPH LEONG SAI HO, better known as Joe Leong, head of the Social Communications Commission (SOCCOM), the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, pays tribute to His Eminence Cornelius Sim, Cardinal of the Apostolic Vicariate, Brunei Darussalam.
BISHOP CORNELIUS SIM:
A GOOD FRIEND OF THE MEDIA
CATHOLICS in this region of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei are filled with sadness to receive news of the passing of His Eminence Cornelius Sim, Cardinal of the Apostolic Vicariate, Brunei Darussalam, on May 29, 2021 in Taiwan.
As a Catholic writer, I have had the opportunity to meet and interview Bishop Cornelius on many occasions. He was truly a good friend of the media, having full understanding of our need as journalists. Bishop Cornelius was very savvy with the social media and always make it a point to respond to our requests for his opinion on current events and issues related to the Catholic Church in this region.
No matter how busy he was, he never failed to find time for the media. From my personal experience, the views he expressed reflected his wisdom and intellect. His opinions depict the deep knowlege and understanding of the topics under discussion. He had a very creative mind and expressed thoughts from outside “the box”. This quality is a delight to any journalist, for the views he offered each time became solid substance for a good news story.
Cornelius Sim, a faithful servant of the Catholic Church, served for many years as President of the Regional Episcopal Commission for Social Communications (RCSC) of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Being head of a similar commission of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, this writer had the opportunity to work closely with him on matters related to social communications in recent years.
I wish to pay tribute to this outstanding leader of the Church by recalling some of the things he said that truly relected the depth of his thoughts and wisdom. For instance, at the annual general meeting of the Commission held online using Google Meet, attended by about 15 SOCCOM officials from across the region, he gave his opinion on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cornelius Sim, advised Catholic communicators that during this time of uncertainty, they should not wait for certainty but to enter into a moment of creativity and search for opportunities.
He suggested they use the image of a fisherman who might be more appropriate for the current situation. For, a fisherman is far out on the open sea faced with violent storms, afraid, and without familiar landmarks to navigate by.
“It is during these challenging times, while many simply wait around to see familiar fixed points re-emerge, SOCCOM members are called to be resourceful, imaginative and to identify new directions,” he said.
Describing the state of fear that people are in whilst forced to stay indoors in order to stay safe, he said that, instead of shuttering doors, they should make sure that as Christians, they do not shut Jesus Christ out of their homes and hearts.
“It’s also a time to reflect and to pray fervently, examine the state of our faith, and let the energy of the Spirit lead us out into a new day,” he told Catholic social communicators.
The Catholic Church in this region has truly lost the service and leadership of a good shepherd filled with the Spirit of God and wisdom.