Korea gets third-ever Cardinal

January 13, 2014

Andrew Yeom Soo-jung becomes third Korean to be elevated

Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, currently the Archbishop of Seoul, is among the 19 prelates from around the world who will be elevated to the rank of cardinal on Feb. 22, joining the elite group of men who could one day elect Pope Francis’ successor. (Yonhap)

Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, currently the Archbishop of Seoul, is among the 19 prelates from around the world who will be elevated to the rank of cardinal on Feb. 22, joining the elite group of men who could one day elect Pope Francis’ successor. (Yonhap)

Korea’s newly appointed cardinal, Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, on Monday vowed to help realize Pope Francis’ vision of a church serving the poor.

The 71-year-old archbishop of Seoul was one of the 19 new cardinals named by Pope Francis on Sunday.

He is South Korea’s third-ever cardinal after the late Stephen Kim Sou-hwan (1922-2009) and Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk.

Pope Francis read the list of his first batch of cardinals during a prayer in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, on Sunday. The 19 men were from Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Europe and included the developing nations of Haiti and Burkina Faso. No one from the U.S. was on the list.

South Korea has a Catholic community of more than five million, a sizable portion of its nearly 49-million population whose religious heritage is largely based on Buddhism.

The news from Rome drew celebrations from not only Roman Catholics but also other believers and nonbelievers.

President Park Geun-hye called on Yeom to offer congratulations after his appointment was made public. “I sincerely congratulate Yeom on the appointment and believe what the people as well as the local Catholic church had hoped for came true,” Park was quoted as telling by her senior presidential press secretary Lee Jung-hyun.

The Buddhist Jogye Order, South Korea’s largest Buddhist sect, also issued a congratulatory message, expressing hope that the Catholic church will serve the poor as the new cardinal has said.

 

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