Seoul Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung was among the 19 new churchmen elevated to the cardinal’s post at Saturday’s installment ceremony in the Vatican.
As 12th out of the 19, Pope Francis called his name, “Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, the archbishop of Seoul,” to bestow him the red hat, ring and assignment of a cardinal.
With that, Yeom became the third Korean to be appointed to the position, following the late Stephen Kim Sou-hwan (1922-2009) and Nicolas Cheong Jin-suk, both preceding Yeom as archbishop of Seoul.
Since he is 71 years old, below the canonical retirement age of 80, he is entitled to vote in the case of a conclave, a convention of cardinals to elect a new pope.
“The pope, as he hugged me, said that he loves Korea. It was a surprise,” Yeom told reporters, emerging from the ceremony. “In response, I told him that Koreans love him too and I will serve with that in mind.”
On Monday morning, he will lead a group of Korean churchmen to a meeting with the pope, where he plans to ask for the pontiff to take interest in Korean issues, including unification with North Korea.
By Lee Sun-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)