Honor for Archbishop You comes less than a year after he became prefect of Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy
Cardinal-elect Archbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik of South Korea. (Photo: Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea)
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has joined Catholic leaders to greet the fourth Korean cardinal.
Pope Francis named Archbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik as one of 21 new cardinals on May 29. He is one of six new cardinals from Asia. The consistory to create the new cardinals will be held at the Vatican on Aug. 27.
Archbishop You, 70, former bishop of Daejeon Diocese, is the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, which oversees diocesan priests and deacons around the world. Pope Francis appointed him to the post on June 11 last year and elevated him to the post of archbishop.
President Yoon made a phone call to Archbishop You to congratulate him after the news broke about his elevation to cardinal, the president’s office said, according to Yonhap news agency.
"Together with the people, I sincerely congratulate you. I am happy and grateful, not only as the president but as a citizen, that the warm light you shone upon the hearts of the people of the world and your efforts for world peace appear to have borne fruit," Yoon said.
The president also remarked that his appointment as the first South Korean to lead a Vatican office and then elevation to cardinal demonstrated the elevated status of the Korean Church.
“I am deeply grateful to the Heavenly Father for giving me so much joy amid the synodal process in the church to experience our common mission through fellowship and participation"
He also prayed for the new cardinal so that he can "be a light to the poor and neglected and play a large role for the Catholic Church of the Republic of Korea and the world."
Bishop Mathias Ri Yong-hoon, chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK), issued a Korean-language statement on May 30 to greet Cardinal-elect You.
“I am deeply grateful to the Heavenly Father for giving me so much joy amid the synodal process in the church to experience our common mission through fellowship and participation,” he said.
Bishop Ri said the appointment of the fourth Korean cardinal will not only bring “a new wind” for Korean Church but will also greatly energize local Catholics.
The prelate also hailed Cardinal You’s deep devotion to the martyrs and commitment to the life of communion that strengthen not only the Korean and Asian churches but also the universal Church.
“Our merciful God will always be with you and will grant you abundant graces. All the members of the Catholic Church in Korea will pray for your physical and mental well-being,” Bishop Ri said.
Cardinal Andrew Yeom soo-jung, former archbishop of Seoul, congratulated Archbishop You and hailed him for his great efforts during his time in Korea, especially for promoting peace and reconciliation with North Korea.
“I pray so that you can duly observe your duties for pastoral interests of the universal Church, especially in poor and marginalized Asian and African regions,” Cardinal Yeom said.
“The position of a cardinal is not a promotion or an honor, as Pope Francis has said. It is a call to further service for the universal Church"
Archbishop Peter Chung soon-taick of Seoul said he joins local Catholics in prayer and good wishes for the new cardinal.
“I pray that you will be a light to the local churches in need and listen to the voices of the poor and marginalized, just like the missionary goal expressed in your Coat of Arms, Lux Mundi (Light of the World),” Archbishop Chung said.
In his message to Korean bishops, Archbishop You said his elevation to cardinal is not meant for honor but for further services to the Church.
“The position of a cardinal is not a promotion or an honor, as Pope Francis has said. It is a call to further service for the universal Church. Through this appointment as a cardinal, I will strive to serve the universal Church and serve the pope," he said.
Cardinal-elect You was born in Nonsan on Nov. 17, 1951. He obtained a doctoral degree at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.
He was ordained a priest in 1979 and served Daejeon Diocese in various capacities including spiritual director, professor and president of the Catholic University of Daejeon.
He became the bishop of Daejeon in 2005. He is known for his special concerns for migrants, refugees and youth.
Bishop You hosted the Sixth Asian Youth Day in 2014 in Daejeon sponsored by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). Pope Francis visited Korea and attended the event.
Bishop You also attended the special Synod on Youth in Rome in 2018.
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