In his first interview since his elevation to the dignity of Cardinal, Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung expressed his “support to the evangelization of the Church in Asia, particularly China and North Korea.”
“My gaze goes to my predecessors in the history of our country, who dedicated themselves to evangelization: I want to follow their footsteps”, he told Fides News Agency.
“I have to admit I am a bit afraid and worried, but I accept with humility and with joy the Holy Father’s invitation and the Lord’s call.” The Korean prelate asked the faithful for their prayers as well as expressing his desire to “be a gentle Shepherd who cares for every lamb of the flock, capable of holding together all the flock.”
Archbishop Soo-jung also said that he could continue to bring harmony and coexistence in the Korean peninsula between the North and the South. The Korean Church, he added, would “give more space to the work of charity and solidarity so that those in need are cared for and one feeds the virtuous circle of love.”
The Cardinal-designate will be meeting with the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Adolfo Nicholas, in Seoul today to discuss the Evangelization in East Asia.
Archbishop So-jung is the third Korean prelate to be elevated to the College of Cardinals. A local priest expressed his joy at the announcement made by Pope Francis on Sunday.
“It is not only a great joy for the Church in Korea, but also a great blessing for the entire country,” he said. “The appointment has attracted much attention in the entire society and other religious communities. Many of the faithful are praying intensely for the new cardinal. We hope he can lead a church that cares for the poor and marginalized”