South Korea's newly appointed cardinal, Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, on Monday vowed efforts to realize Pope Francis' vision of a church serving the poor.
The 71-year-old archbishop of Seoul was one of the 19 new cardinals named by Pope Francis on Sunday. He is South Korea's third-ever cardinal after late Stephen Kim Sou-hwan (1922-2009) and Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk.
"I will make efforts to realize Pope Francis' vision of a church toiling for the poor and those on the margins of society and to make it a church serving the community," the new cardinal said during a congratulatory ceremony hosted by the Archdiocese of Seoul to mark his promotion to the rank of cardinal-priest.
"I think the pope appointed me to the post to make me effectively carry out the mission of the church," he said during the ceremony at Myeongdong Cathedral in central Seoul. "I respect efforts made by late Cardinal Kim and Cardinal Cheong and will add mine to them though they may be little."
He also pledged efforts to "gather scattered sheep" and "heal confrontation and rift."
Cardinal Cheong said in his speech at the ceremony that the appointment of a new South Korean cardinal opened a new chapter for the local church, drawing the attention of the world's church.
"I hope Cardinal Yeom will perform his duty well, honoring God's will," Cheong said.
The two cardinals hugged each other warmly after the speeches.
About 300 Catholic faithfuls and journalists braved the chilly winter weather to congratulate the appointment of a new cardinal.
Some of them shouted, "We love you, Andrew Cardinal Yeom!" while handing him bouquets of flowers. (Yonhap News)