It seems altogether fitting that the archbishop who championed the ministry of justice and peace in the Malaysian Church should be installed as cardinal by Francis, the Bishop of Rome, on 19 November, which coincides with Bersih 5.

This is a piece I wrote for the Herald a few weeks ago.

Soter Fernandez – From hospital dresser to cardinal of a ‘field hospital’ church

Last year, when I met Archbishop Emeritus Soter Fernandez, he took pains to highlight two somewhat related areas that he seemed to be concerned about. He carried in his bag a clutch of documents relating to the Aggiornamento in 1976 and the present Bishop of Rome’s encyclical on the Joy of the Gospel.

The beatification of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, on the birthday of the church marks a watershed for the church under Francis’ stewardship.

At the start of his ministry as Bishop of Rome, Francis had expressed the desire to see the church transformed into the Church of the Poor. And on Pentecost this year, the Spirit, it would appear, is propelling the church in exactly that direction.