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Korea gets its youngest bishop

43-year-old will 'draw on pastoral experience gained during his priestly ministry'

Bishop Simon Ok Hyun-jin, who was today ordained the auxiliary for Kwangju archdiocese, has become the youngest bishop in the country.

The new bishop is 43 years old, the youngest of 34 bishops in the Korean Church. He was ordained at Imdong Cathedral during a Mass presided over by Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju and attended by about 1,600 Catholics, including Korean bishops, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, apostolic nuncio to Korea, and a Buddhist monk.

Bishop Ok said he would draw on pastoral experience gained during his priestly ministry.

Kwangju archdiocese has 334,000 Catholics in 124 parishes and 80 mission stations who are served by 253 priests.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Father Ok as the auxiliary bishop of Kwangju on May 12.

Born in 1968, Bishop Ok was ordained a priest for Kwangju archdiocese in 1994. He has been a member of the Committee for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Korean bishops’ conference since 2007.

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