Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father Benedict XVI on July 7, 2012 accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Penang (Malaysia), by His Exc.Mgr. Anthony Selvanayagam in accordance with canon. 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father appointed Rev. Msgr Sebastian Francis, Vicar General of the Diocese of Melaka-Johor (Malaysia) as Bishop of Penang (Malaysia).
Rev. Msgr Sebastian Francis was born on 11 November 1951 in Johor Bahru, in the Diocese of Melaka-Johor. He completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary in Penang. He was ordained a priest on July 28, 1977 for the Diocese of Melaka-Johor. After ordination, he has held the following positions: 1977-1980: Parish Vicar of St. Francis Xavier in Melaka; 1981: Assistant pastor of the Immaculate Conception in Johor Bahru; 1981-1983: Studies for a Licentiate in dogmatic Theology at the Angelicum, in Rome; 1984: Assistant pastor of St. Francis Xavier in Melaka; 1985-1988: Professor of Dogmatic Theology, spiritual Director of the Major Seminary in Penang, Chaplain of the university students in Penang, Church Administrator of the Immaculate Conception in Paulau Ticus-Penang and Pastoral Coordinator; 1988-2001: Vicar General of Melaka-Johor; 1988-2004: Pastor of the Cathedral in Melaka; 2002-2003: Diocesan Administrator of Melaka-Johor; since 2003: Vicar General of Melaka-Johor; 2004-2007: Pastor of St. Louis in Kluang; 2007-2011: Pastor of the Immaculate Conception; Since 2011: Pastor of Christ the King in Kulai.
The Diocese of Penang (1955), is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lupmpur. It has an area of 46,855 square kilometers and a population of over 6,500,000 inhabitants, of whom 66,000 are Catholics. There are 28 parishes, 46 priests (42 diocesan and 4 religious ), 9 religious brothers, 88 sisters and 5 major seminarians. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 09/07/2012)