Malaysia opened an Embassy in the Vatican that will “elevate relations between Malaysia and the Holy See to greater heights,” said foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who officially opened the embassy on May 9.
During the visit, Anifah met his counterpart, the Most Reverend Archbishop Paul Gallagher, and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Both sides are keen to collaborate on efforts to promote inter-religious dialogue and understanding.
Diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the Holy See were established on July 27, 2011. “On November 25, 2015, we made the decision to establish an Embassy of Malaysia to The Holy See, with residence in Rome. His Excellency Bernard Giluk Dompok was appointed as the first resident Ambassador to The Holy See,” Anifah said.
In a speech at the opening of the embassy, Anifah said “the establishment of diplomatic relations with The Holy See signifies the country’s commitment to enhance the existing mutual ties between both countries, particularly in religious issues, as well as to promote better understanding in religion.”
With the establishment of a resident embassy based in Rome, Malaysia is now able to “participate and contribute to worldwide dialogues on various regional and international issues, particularly on promoting religious understanding, education, poverty eradication, migration, as well as on climate change,” he added.
He added that Malaysia strongly believed on the need to practice moderation as the fundamental element to foster greater integration, ensuring peaceful coexistence through the rejection of extremism that undermines the universal values of religion.
“One of the biggest challenges in today’s world is to fight extremist groups which are growing regionally and internationally. Extremism is a cancer to the world, as it creates chaos and political instability in a country.”
Anifah said Malaysia also welcomed future collaboration with the various Pontifical councils, international organizations and non-government organizations in hosting dialogues and seminars aimed at promoting better religious understanding in the near future. “I am positive that there will be many future collaborations with Malaysia in the various political, economic and social-development issues of mutual interest.” he added.
Apparently, the Ambassador of Malaysia to The Holy See, His Excellency Bernard Giluk Dompok is a friend of the Jesuits. He paid a visit to the Jesuit Community of Saint Peter Canisius in the Vatican last year on 08 August 2016 and joined the community for lunch. The visit was conducted to better comprehend the various initiatives undertaken by the Jesuit Order in the Catholic network and to touch base and introduce the newly established Embassy of Malaysia to The Holy See. The visit was also part of Malaysia’s appreciation for the contributions of the Catholic Church to the development of education in Malaysia which had benefitted not only the first few generations of Malaysians back in the earlier years, but also now. Prior to the visit to the Jesuit Community, the Ambassador had visited La-Salle Brothers and Brothers of Saint Gabriel and will visit the Mill Hill Fathers in Rome soon. Dompok expressed his sincere gratitude to the Jesuit Community for their dedication in providing community service…
“All the world wondered…” Revelation 13:3