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2014-01-15

ASIA/SOUTH KOREA – Archbishop Yeom Soo- jung: "A call to the evangelization of China and North Korea"

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - "Through God’s call, I will pray and give my full support to the evangelization of the Church in Asia, in particular China and North Korea": with these words, the Archbishop of Seoul, Andrew Yeom Soo-jung explains the meaning he gives to his appointment as cardinal: a service to the proclamation of the Gospel, especially in Asia. "This is an important task not only for the Korean Church" he specifies.
Because of this special attention to evangelization, the Archbishop chose Fides Agency, the Vatican dicastery of Propaganda Fide, for his first interview since his appointment as cardinal: "My gaze goes to my predecessor in the history of our country, who dedicated themselves to evangelization: I want to follow their footsteps", he says.
"I have to admit I am a bit afraid and worried, but I accept with humility and with joy the Holy Father’s invitation and the Lord's call", he continues. The Archbishop explains that, for this service, he will have "an absolute need of the prayers of the faithful and of my fellow priests. I would like to be a gentle Shepherd who cares for every lamb of the flock, capable of holding together all the flock", he notes.
In his ministry the Archbishop will try to bring in society and on the Korean peninsula "forgiveness, harmony and peaceful co-existence", while, in the Korean Church, he intends to give more space to the work of charity and solidarity "so that those in need are cared for and one feeds the virtuous circle of love".
As reported to Fides, the Archbishop holds today, 15th January, the first official engagement, where he will meet Fr. Adolfo Nicholas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, in Seoul. Evangelization in East Asia will be the central theme of conversation between the two.
The creation to cardinal of the Archbishop is the third for a Korean prelate: Before him, there were Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk (now emeritus of Seoul) and Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan (1922-2009), both Archbishops of Seoul. A Korean priest told Fides: "It is not only a great joy for the Church in Korea, but also a great blessing for the entire country. The appointment has attracted much attention in the entire society and other religious communities. Many of the faithful are praying intensely for the new cardinal. We hope he can lead a church that cares for the poor and marginalized". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/01/2014)

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