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New Vatican prefect to celebrate Mass marking 200th anniversary of birth of Korea’s first Catholic priest

Korean Catholics in Rome welcome Archbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, the new Vatican prefect, July 30. (Yonhap)
Korean Catholics in Rome welcome Archbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, the new Vatican prefect, July 30. (Yonhap)
Archbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, the new Vatican prefect, will celebrate a Mass on Saturday to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Korea’s first Roman Catholic priest.

The Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican commemorates Andrew Kim Tae-gon, who died in 1846, and will be the first Korean-language Mass at the basilica in six years. The last one was in March 2015, when Korean bishops visited the Vatican to reciprocate Pope Francis’ five-day visit to South Korea in August 2014.

Korean Ambassador to the Vatican Choo Kyu-ho will attend the Mass along with Korean priests studying in Rome, as well as other Korean Catholics.

A special message from Pope Francis is expected to be delivered during the Mass. According to local news reports, it is also possible that the pope might appear briefly at the Mass as in 2015.

The Mass will be livestreamed on Catholic Peace Broadcasting’s YouTube channel, CPBC TV.

It is also Archbishop You’s first Mass since he was named to the post in June. As prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy of the Holy See, You officially began his duties Aug. 2 and is responsible for overseeing education and other matters concerning some 500,000 priests and deacons around the globe.

On Aug. 3, he met with Pope Francis privately for 50 minutes. According to news reports, the pope expressed gratitude to You for accepting the role of prefect.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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