KUALA LUMPUR - The Rev Father Julian Leow Beng Kim has been appointed as Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur.
His appointment yesterday coincided with the Feast day of St Thomas the Apostle.
In a press conference held at the official archbishop's residence, Vatican Ambassador to Kuala Lumpur Joseph Marino announced the appointment with the blessing of Pope Francis.
Father Leow, 50, was born in Seremban and ordained as a priest for the archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur on April 20, 2002.
Until his ordination as archbishop, Father Leow will retain his position as the dean of studies at College General Seminary in Penang.
The ordination usually takes three months from the date of appointment.
Father Leow said he would do his best to carry out his new duties with God's grace.
"I accepted the position in obedience and after prayer," he said.
The archbishop-elect said he was looking forward to having inter-religious dialogues and fostering closer ties with Malaysians of various races and faiths.
As Father Leow is still a priest, he will have to undergo ordination as a bishop before he is installed as the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur.
On Dec 14 last year, Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam stepped down as the third Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur after a 10-year tenure.
He vacated the seat after turning 75, the Catholic Church's retirement age as prescribed by Canon Law.