Anthony Soter Fernandez

Catholic archbishop

Anthony Soter Fernandez (22 April 1930 – 28 October 2020) was a Malaysian cardinal. Fernandez was born in Sungai Petani, Kedah.



He was the first Malaysian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop Emeritus of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was appointed on 30 July 1983 by Pope John Paul II, and became the Archdiocese's second Archbishop upon his installation on 10 November 1983.

Fernandez was ordained as a priest on 10 December 1966 and was president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei from 1987 to 1990 and 2000 to 2003. He retired on 24 May 2003.

Fernandez was previously the bishop of the Diocese of Penang, where he was bishop from 17 February 1978, until his transfer to Kuala Lumpur.

Fernandez was created a cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory on 19 November 2016.[1] He was the first Malaysian to be made a cardinal.[2]

In November 2019, Fernandez was diagnosed with tongue cancer. He died on 28 October 2020 in Kuala Lumpur from the disease, aged 88.[3]


  1. "Pope to create 13 new cardinals, including 3 Americans". Crux. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  2. Arbee, Awaina (9 Oct 2016). "Pope Francis names Malaysia's first ever cardinal". New Straits Times. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  3. "Malaysia's first Catholic cardinal Anthony Soter Fernandez dies at 88". The Star. Retrieved 28 October 2020.

Other websites