Cardinal Cheong to hold farewell Mass on Friday

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 14, 2012 - 20:17
  • Updated : Jun 14, 2012 - 20:17
Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, who is retiring from his post as head of the Seoul Archdiocese, will hold a Mass Friday at the Myeongdong Cathedral to express his gratitude to Korean Catholics for their support over the years.

“It would have been impossible without your prayers and love to work as the archbishop of Seoul for the last 14 years. I would like to express my gratitude,” said Cheong, 81, in a hand-written letter released last week. The retiring archbishop will move to the Catholic University of Korea, the Seoul Archdiocese said.
Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk (Seoul Archdiocese)

Last month, the Vatican named Bishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung the new archbishop of Seoul. Cheong offered his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 ― the year he turned 75. Every Catholic bishop, upon reaching the age of 75, is required to submit their resignation to the Vatican. Cheong’s resignation was not accepted by the Pope at the time, which is not unusual.

Last year, Cheong lost his right to elect the Pope as he turned 80 in December. The cardinals who elect the Pope are limited to those who have not reached the age of 80 on the day the Pope dies or resigns.

Cheong has served as the Archbishop of Seoul since May 1998, succeeding the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan (1922-2009).

Born in 1931 to a Catholic family in Seoul, Cheong decided to become a Catholic priest during the Korean War. After the war, Cheong, who was an undergraduate student majoring in engineering at Seoul National University, left the school and entered the Catholic University of Korea.

He was ordained in 1961 in Seoul.

By Cho Chung-un  (