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Pope to send Salvadorian cardinal on Korean peace mission

Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez helped bring about end to El-Salvadoran civil war

Pope to send Salvadorian cardinal on Korean peace mission

The newly named Salvadorian Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez greets a Catholic at the San Francisco Church in San Salvador, El Salvador, on July 4, 2017. (Photo by Marvin Recinos/AFP)

Published: July 11, 2017 07:19 AM GMT

Updated: July 11, 2017 07:24 AM GMT

Celebrating a Mass in his native El Salvador, newly created Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez said his first major assignment would be to travel to South Korea for a meeting on how to achieve peace with North Korea.

During a homily in San Salvador's Metropolitan Cathedral July 8, Cardinal Rosa Chavez said that although he will "continue to be the least of my brother bishops" as auxiliary bishop, he was also entrusted to other matters by Pope Francis.

"I already received my first invitation to go to Seoul, South Korea, to attend a meeting to see how we can achieve peace between North and South Korea," the cardinal said.

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Tensions continue to escalate on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea conducted its first successful intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 4. With an estimated range of 8,000 kilometers, the missile is capable of striking the U.S. mainland with a nuclear-tipped warhead.

In response, the U.S. and South Korean military held joint drills in a show of force against North Korea. However, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, North Korea has shown no signs of de-escalating its nuclear ambitions.

Cardinal Rosa Chavez, who worked closely with Blessed Oscar Romero before he was assassinated in 1980, was praised for his role in negotiations that brought peace to El Salvador after 12 years of civil war.

Manuel Roberto Lopez, El Salvador's ambassador to the Holy See, told Catholic News Service July 10 that Cardinal Rosa Chavez's new role "places him in a situation where he has great experience."

"Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez was someone who collaborated extensively in the peace treaty in El Salvador because he was the only Salvadorian who participated in every single meeting between 1984-1989," the ambassador said.

Acknowledging that the conflict in the Korean peninsula is "a bit more complicated" and "won't be resolved in one day," Lopez said that Cardinal Rosa Chavez's experience can help bring both sides to the negotiating table.

"I've known him for many years and he is such an authentic person in his simplicity, in his way of being close to the people; he was an auxiliary bishop but always close to the people, with the smell of the sheep as Pope Francis says," Lopez said.

"The pope saw in him something greater to have given him more duties in the course of his pontificate. That is my opinion," he said.

Full Story: Salvadorian Cardinal: Pope sending him to Korea to work for peace

Source: Catholic News Service



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