02/08/2014, 00.00
Send to a friend

Singapore theological institute opens, a "milestone" for the local church

The goal is to encourage the formation of lay Catholics, boosting knowledge and skills. For Msgr. William Goh it will help in a “systematic and methodical" analysis of faith. Lessons began on January 27, over 100 "high level" and specialized students.

Singapore ( AsiaNews) - The opening of the Theological Institute of Singapore ( CTIS ) will encourage the formation of lay Catholics in a more "systematic" and "in-depth" study of theology boosting skills and knowledge. Msgr. William Goh, archbishop of the city-state, emphasized the advantages of the institute inaugurated on January 22 in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, Msgr. Leopoldo Girelli, priests, nuns and lay people. Pondering God, our relationship with Him, , according to the prelate , are already elements of "theology". The difference between a theologian and a simple Christian, he adds, is that the former reflects and analyzes "the faith in a systematic and methodical" way. The reasons for our doctrine must be explained, so that people understand that our faith is "credible and reasonable".

The CTIS is an important development for the Church in Singapore.  The local Catholic community actually consists of more than 200 thousand Catholics, representing approximately 5 % of the population (Buddhism is the most popular with 43 ​​%, followed by Christianity with 18%, 15% Islam, Hinduism and Taoism 11:05 %). Bishop Goh does not hide what he calls a strange "anomaly", in short despite a generally high level of education among the citizens, including Catholics, when it comes to theology and doctrine of the Church there is a widespread attitude of "distrust".

For this reason, the prelate warned, it is important that those who occupy public offices and positions of responsibility, or are involved in education "are guided by Church teaching" to ensure an "orthodox" and not "personal" or reshaped transmission of the faith and of Christian doctrine.

The institute is a "milestone" for the Church in Singapore, said the rector Fr. James Yeo, according to whom, it is first of all at the service of the community of the city - state and, secondly, even if the possibility remains to be verified, "the surrounding nations". At present there are at least 130 requests for registration for the course in theology, the school has so far received applications from 105 students, most of whom already boast a "high-level" and specialized education. The lessons began on January 27 with a solemn Eucharistic celebration.

Paul Chua, an expert in Information Technology, is among the new theological students of the institute.  He says that it is "a golden opportunity" and is excited about beginning lessons. He hopes to "better understand the God who loves him". A student named Hannah Lim can not wait to "grow in the Lord" and hopes to bring "others to Christ".

Smaller than New York and without natural resources, the city-state's 2010 gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 285 billion Singapore dollars (about US$ 231 billion), up 14.5 per cent, the highest in all of Asia. However, wealth is not equally distributed and the city-state's economic prosperity has accentuated the disparity among citizens. Singapore's Gini coefficient - a measure of income distribution inequality - now stands at 0.48 (it was 0.444 in 2000). The Gini coefficient ranges between zero (perfect equality) and one (perfect inequality).


Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Singapore, rector of theological institute: Laity make vital contribution to Churches’ mission
For Fr Tom, abducted in Yemen, Holy Thursday prayer and adoration for the martyrs
21/03/2016 14:57
Call to wise men and women of good will to rescue fraternity, together
08/06/2021 17:14
Muslims storm Protestant school in Jakarta, scores of students injured
Youth and religious life: educators gather at the Roncalli Institute of Salatiga
07/05/2018 13:13


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”