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Korean catholic community celebrates the new cardinal

Posted January. 14, 2014 00:28,   


“Please take a seat here in the middle.” (Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung)

“No, it’s for you.” (Cardinal Cheong Jin-seok)

“Then, it’s a seat for Jesus.” (Cardinal Yeom)

The two cardinals had a light squabble over a seat of honor at the office of bishop on the third floor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul on Monday before an event to celebrate the new cardinal. A little later, they agreed to leave the seat of honor empty for Jesus with a smile.

Cardinal Yeom who became the bishop of the Archdiocese of Seoul as the successor to Cardinal Cheong in 2012 welcomed his predecessor at the entrance of the office. Cardinal Cheong who refrained from visiting the dioceses not to pressure his successor came to the office one hour earlier than the official event and congratulated the new cardinal.

The appointment of Korea’s third cardinal was celebrated by the two cardinals, Bishop Cho Kyu-man, Bishop Yoo Gyeong-chon who was recently appointed, and Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio of Korea.

“The appointment of the new cardinal is in the center of national attention,” Cardinal Cheong said. “Such attention reflects the people’s expectation for the Catholic to work harder not only for churches but also for the entire people.” Archbishop Padilla delivered the official document from the Vatican informing Yeom`s appointment as a cardinal.

There were some discussions on why the appointment was advanced by more than a week than the expected date. Cardinal Cheong said, “I was appointed on Feb. 22, 2006. It was Wednesday. It’s very hard to predict the date.” Cardinal Yeom said, “This announcement could have been advanced to fall on the Baptism of the Lord. It seems to imply that all should be born again.”

When Bishop Cho said, “Pope Francis is unpredictable, indeed. The pope must have given a present ahead of his visit to Korea,” Cardinal Yeom said with a smile, “It seems that everybody likes it but I am the only one who doesn`t like it because of the pressure.”