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Every year in January, the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur gathers for the Clergy Annual Pastoral Assembly (CAPA). This year, the assembly was held at Glory Beach Resort in Port Dickson, from Sunday evening, 14 January until Thursday afternoon, 18 January 2024. Approximately 60 Bishops and Priests attended the four-day event, and we gathered to review and study the outcome of SYNOD 2023 as well as explore the latest issues and documents. We discussed, shared, and presented several topics in our CAPA.

During the meeting, Rev Fr Simon Labrooy reviewed the CAPA Report of 2023, which analysed past years’ challenges and satisfaction. Rev Fr Clarence Dass conducted two sessions - on the outcome of Synod on Synodality 2023, and the preparations for the Synod in October 2024. He was one of the delegates from Malaysia who attended the Synod 2023 in Vatican City. In his first session, he shared his experience as a participant and member of the drafting committee. In the second session, he presented the need for us to be prepared for the Synod in October 2024 at the Malaysian Church Conference level. Furthermore, he explained how the Church could become a Synodal Church in Mission, by fulfilling the missionary commitments while maintaining unity and diversity.

Archbishop Julian Leow and Rev Fr Philip Tay invited us to revisit and study the two recent declarations/documents, namely the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings (Fiducia Supplicans dated 18 December 2023) and the Participation of Transgender and Homosexual Persons in the Sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony (Dicasterium Pro Doctrina Fidei dated on 31 October 2023). Through this exercise, we gained a better understanding of questions related to the blessing of same-sex unions, the synodality of the Church’s mission, the importance of repentance, and other issues that were highlighted during Synod 2023. The inputs, insights and sharing from the study helped to clarify our doubts, enabling us to comprehend better the declarations and issues that had previously caused confusion.

During a forum, we had an open conversation with Archbishop Julian Leow who has been our shepherd for almost ten years in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur. As priests, we are satisfied with how he governs the Archdiocese, and we expressed our willingness to work with him, adopting an attitude of co-responsibility in building the Church and its people, and carrying out the thrust of the Archdiocese. All the priests confirmed our support for him and our commitment to working together towards the mission of the Church.

Apart from this, we also came together in prayer, silent adoration, and Eucharistic celebrations to reflect on the issues facing us, so that we may serve the Church with clarity, charity, and greater responsibility. We have been entrusted with serving the Church’s mission through our priestly ministry, and this year’s CAPA has enlightened our minds to serve the Church and its mission to the best of our abilities. Our gathering has been productive and enriching, fostering prayer and strengthening relationships and priestly ministry.

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