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S. Korean Archbishop: "I do not deserve the position to be a Cardinal"

Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik

Pope Francis elevated Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, to the rank of Cardinal, together with 20 others. 

He is the fourth South Korean cardinal in the history of the country.

In response to his appointment as a cardinal, Archbishop Heung sik stated that he did not deserve the honor.

As posted on the website of Soul's Archdiocese, he said, "The pope made me Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in June of last year. Then he appointed me again as a cardinal, a job I do not deserve."

But he was aware that becoming a cardinal reinforced and bolstered his primary role as a priest, which was to preach the gospel and do good deeds.

The Archbishop said, "I think it's my job to carry out the ‘Proclaim the Gospel’ papal decree, which went into effect on June 5, the Feast of Pentecost, to train priests based on this papal decree, and to do good pastoral work as a priest."

In addition, he recalled that the announcement of the new cardinals on May 29 coincided with the 123rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed Paul Yoon Ji-Chung and his companions. He is therefore devoted to introducing the martyrs to the world.

"We shall do our best to ensure that the lives of the martyrs are made available, particularly to Catholics worldwide," said the Archbishop. 

Heung Sik was born in 1951 in Nonsan, which is in the province of Chungcheongnam-do. 

After becoming a priest for the Diocese of Daejeon, he was named Coadjutor Bishop of that diocese in 2003 and Bishop of Daejeon in 2005.

He traveled to North Korea four times while serving as president of the Justice and Peace Committee for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea. 

His biggest wish and prayer is for peace and unity on the Korean Peninsula, which he loves.

In August 2014, Archbishop Heung-sik welcomed Pope Francis to the Diocese of Daejeon on the sixth Asian Youth Day.

As requested by Pope Francis, he attended the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Young People in October 2018.

On the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 11, 2021, Pope Francis made him head of the Congregation for the Clergy. - Kasmir Nema 


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