Singapore (AsiaNews / Agencies) - On March 27, the Archbishop of Singapore, Msgr. William Goh, will celebrate a Mass in memory of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of the city-state, who died yesterday following a severe form of pneumonia.
In a message of condolence to his son Lee Hsien Loong (and current Prime Minister of the country) and his family, the bishop wrote: " The Roman Catholic Church in Singapore and I are with you in your pain as you mourn the loss of your beloved father and father-in-law. "
"Singapore - continues Msgr. Goh Seng Chye - owes her nationhood to him. As a nation, we have him to thank for everything we are proud to call “Singapore”. Indeed, we count ourselves truly blessed to have had such a giant of a leader at a time when Singapore counted for nothing in the eyes of the world".
The state funeral will be held on March 29, after a week of national mourning. World leaders have paid tribute to the figure of Lee Kuan Yew, a promoter from one side of the "Asian values" that allowed the independence and development of Singapore, instead of a the widespread tendency towards a form of power based on authoritarianism, repression and corporal punishment which often became de facto dictatorship.
As well as Mass in the Church of St. Joseph, the Archbishop calls on "all the churches and the Catholic communities to offer prayers for the repose of his soul and for your family in this time of mourning."