Andrew Yeom Soo-jung
Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung (Korean: 염수정; Hanja: 廉洙政; born 5 December 1943) is a Korean cardinal of the Catholic Church and the Korean Roman Catholic Archbishop of Seoul. Yeom succeeded Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Nicolas Cheong Jin-suk. As Metropolitan Archbishop of Seoul, he also serves as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Pyongyang in North Korea. Aside from Archbishop, he was also the chairman of Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation (Korean: 가톨릭평화방송 or CPBC). Founded in 1990, this corporation included a Catholic television channel and a radio station, both of which became highly valued Christian voices and champions of values such as peace, reconciliation, the defence of life, dignity and inalienable human rights.
Andrew Yeom Soo-Jung
염수정 안드레아 추기경
廉洙政 안드레아 樞機卿
|Cardinal, Archbishop of Seoul|
|Appointed||10 May 2012|
|Installed||25 June 2012|
|Predecessor||Nicolas Cheong Jin-suk|
|Other posts||Cardinal-Priest of San Crisogono|
|Ordination||8 December 1970|
by Stephen Kim Sou-hwan
|Consecration||1 December 2001|
by Nicolas Cheong Jin-suk
|Created cardinal||22 February 2014|
by Pope Francis
|Born||5 December 1943|
Anjō, Anjō County, Keiki Province, Korea under Japanese rule (now Ansong, South Korea)
|Alma mater||Catholic University of Korea|
|Coat of arms|
Ordination history of
Andrew Yeom Soo-jung
Andrew Yeom Soo Jung
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
|Andrew Yeom Soo-jung|
|Revised Romanization||Yeom Su-jeong|
Yeom was made a Cardinal by Pope Francis in a papal consistory on 22 February 2014 at Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. He will be eligible to participate in any future papal conclaves until he reaches the age of eighty on 5 December 2023.
Yeom Soo-jung was born in Ansong, Gyeonggi Province, to devout Catholic parents, Yeom Han-jin (Calixto) and Baek Geum-wol (Susanna) descendants of Joseph Yeom Deok-sun (who were among the first Koreans to convert to Christianity) and Peter Yeom Seok-tae and his wife Kim Maria who were arrested and executed in 1850 for their Catholic faith.[clarification needed] His ancestors were among the lay people who brought Christianity to the Korean peninsula in the 19th century, and his great-great grandfather and his wife were executed as part of the Joseon Dynasty's persecution of Christians. The Yeom family has kept their religious belief for generations through persecution, leading Archbishop Yeom, the fifth generation Catholic, to enter the priesthood. The third of six children, Yeom loves explaining how he discovered and cultivated his priestly vocation thanks to family prayer: his grandmother Magdalena Park and his mother, went to Mass every day for 30 years to pray for their children to become priests. His two brothers Yeom Soo-wan and Yeom Soo-eui have also followed him, currently leading two dioceses in Seoul.
At the age of 15, Yeom decided to become a priest and entered the seminary. He graduated from the Catholic University of Korea in 1970 before being ordained a priest by Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan on 8 December 1970 for the diocese of Seoul. Yeom Soo-jung went on to obtain a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Korea University. He has also studied at the East Asian Pastoral Institute in the Philippines, while serving in various parishes.
Ordination history of
Andrew Yeom Soo-jung
After his ordination, he served as a curate from 1971–1973, then as President of the Minor Seminary, Songshin High School, from 1973–1977, and then served as pastor from 1977 until 1978. From 1987 until 1992, he was the rector of the major seminary, thereafter he was appointed chancellor of the diocesan curia serving in that role until 1998.
After he left his post as chancellor, he was appointed as one of the Seoul Archdiocese's Vicar Foranes, and at the same time, as a pastor, serving in these two roles until 2001. He also served as a member of the Presbyteral Council.
Andrew Yeom Soo-jung
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
On 1 December 2001 it was announced that Pope John Paul II had appointed him, at the age of 58, as an Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul and at the same time Titular Bishop of Thibiuca. He was consecrated on 25 January 2002 in the Changcheon-dong Stadium, Seoul, by Archbishop Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk of Seoul, assisted by Andrew Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Gwangju, and by John Chang-yik, Bishop of Chunchon. After his episcopal consecration, he became the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Seoul and episcopal vicar for the pastoral and the apostolate of the mass media. Member of the Permanent Council and of the Commission for Missions, and for the Commission for the Pastoral of Health of the Korean Episcopal Conference; as well as president of the Committee for the Apostolate of the Lay. He retained these roles until 10 May 2012, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as the next Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul. He succeeded his former superior, Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, 80, who had surpassed the canonical retirement age after offering his resignation back in 2006.
Archbishop of SeoulEdit
The Holy See appointed Yeom as the 5th Archbishop of Seoul on 10 May 2012, succeeding Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk and thus making him de facto Primate of Korea. At the installation ceremony he said "We need to keep the dignity of human life in a society that takes life lightly. The Church will fight for that," said Archbishop Yeom during the inaugural mass. The Seoul Archdiocese held the inaugural ceremony for the new archbishop on the 62nd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, as a symbolic gesture, praying especially for the reconciliation and reunification of the two Koreas. Since then, martyrdom has left an indelible mark on his Episcopal ministry. His ministry has also been marked by constants references to the precious faith of martyrs which is seen an example of authentic testimony all Christians should follow no matter what their life condition or state. He also expressed a strong eagerness for dialogue, reconciliation and peace between the two Koreas to calm the tensions that are circling the peninsula, introducing the risk of a new conflict. The inaugural Mass was attended by Cardinal Cheong, Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik, Vatican Nuncio Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, political leaders including former opposition leader Sohn Hak-kyu, Rep. Kang Ki-gap and Gyeonggi Governor Kim Moon-soo. As Archbishop of Seoul, he is head of the largest local Church in the Koreas, and the officeholder is traditionally also apostolic administrator of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. The Pyongyang diocese has been vacant since the death of its last ordinary, Bishop Francis Hong Yong-ho, who was imprisoned by the North Korean government in 1949, and later disappeared.
A growing church in KoreaEdit
According to statistics, as of 31 December 2011, of the 15 dioceses and 1 military ordinariate in Korea, the Archdiocese of Seoul is the most populous with 27% of the total Catholics in Korea. The number of Catholics in Korea is 5,309,964, an increase of 2% (104,375) from 2011. Catholics account for 10.3% of the total population. The total number of Catholics in Korea has slightly and consistently increased at a yearly average of 2–3% during the past 10 years. It has passed the 10% mark of the total population since 2009. According to the Statistics, the number of newly baptised in 2011 was 134,562, a decrease of 4.3% from the previous year. By gender, newly baptised men represented 73,228 and women 61,334. The number of infants baptised amounted to 25,717, an increase of 7.5% over the previous year.
In 2012, the Church grew by 1.6%, as nearly 85,000 Koreans became Catholic. There has also been an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life in recent years. In February 2014, 38 new priests and two auxiliary bishops were ordained for Seoul. Government surveys have shown that more than 45% of South Koreans practice no religion and that about 22% are Buddhists. Yet when Catholics (11%) and Protestants (18%) are combined, Christianity as a whole claims the largest number of religious adherents. By contrast, Christianity is officially suppressed in North Korea under the communist regime, and unofficial estimates by South Korean Church officials place the number of Catholics there at only 5,000.
Archbishop Yeom received the Pallium from Pope Benedict XVI on 29 June 2012 (the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul), along with several archbishops from various countries. Yeom was one of several Asian archbishops whom the Pontiff granted the pallium, one of whom being the Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Tagle.
The Pope named Archbishop Yeom to the College of Cardinals on Saturday, 22 February 2014. As Cardinal-Priest, he was assigned the titular church of San Crisogono. Yeom is the Third Korean national to be made Cardinal in the Catholic Church, following the two preceding Cardinal Emeritus Nicholas Cheong Jin-Suk, and the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan. On 23 February, the day after the announcement was made, a celebratory ceremony was held at Seoul's Myeongdong Cathedral, where he said, "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. ... I respect efforts made by late Cardinal Kim and Cardinal Cheong, and will add mine to them." His appointment as cardinal was welcomed by many Koreans, though only 11 percent of the country is Catholic. On 22 May 2014, he was named member of the Congregations for the Evangelization of Peoples and for the Clergy. On Saturday, 4 October 2014, he took possession of the title of San Crisogono. He participated in Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, 5 to 19 October 2014, on the theme "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization", by papal appointment.
Coat of armsEdit
The Coat of Arms of Archbishop Yeom features the Traditional Red Hat, or the galero, replaces the Green one with its 15 tassels dangling in two five-tiered formations from either side. Below the Red Hat is the Crucifix symbolizes the Holy Martyrs of Korea who were the victims of religious persecution against the Catholic Church during the Joseon Dynasty in the 19th century.
The shield is a symbol of God's salvation, and the three Rainbow colors: Purple (Love), Blue (Hope) and Green (Faith). The Herald of a new life, Dove, symbol of peace as a messenger came in the past, and will come in the present and future, and the spirit of the Lord brings into the presence among us even today and revealed that symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The Big Star in the center represents the Virgin Mary as she protects the two shining stars below symbolizing the peaceful reunification between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Republic of Korea. An anchor cross and the two Greek letters "A" (Alpha) and "Ω" (Omega) that all the hopes and aspirations of the Korean People will be in the God's plan. The background's color Blue, Yellow, and Red symbolize Peace, Sharing, and Sacrifice.
Archbishop Yeom's Latin motto is taken from the Book of Revelation 22:20, Amen. Veni, Domine Jesu! meaning "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"
Yeom's pastoral approach is also characterised by a respect for life and the mission. Respect for life is an aspect that is especially important to the Korean Church. The Church has focused its missionary work primarily on Asia.
Yeom has been supportive of the Church having a presence in Korean mass media; he was instrumental in the establishment of the Peace Broadcasting Corporation in 1990.
Reconciliation Between North and South KoreaEdit
Cardinal Yeom made history on Wednesday morning, 21 May 2014 becoming the first Korean Roman Catholic leader to cross the inter-Korean border into the North. He and his South Korean priests traveled to a joint North-South industrial park in Kaesong, North Korea, to tour the complex and meet South Koreans working there. Yeom told reporters after his return from the one-day visit that seeing South and North Koreans working in harmony gave him hope that the two countries can "overcome their pain and sorrow."
The joint industrial park, located just north of the heavily armed border, is the last remaining cross-border rapprochement project between the rival Koreas. It combines South Korean initiative, capital and technology with cheap North Korean labor. Operations at the decade-old complex were suspended for months last year when tensions sharply rose over repeated North Korean threats of nuclear war. South Korean Catholic officials denied media speculation that Yeom's trip might be aimed at preparing for a possible visit by Pope Francis to North Korea when he visits South Korea in August. Fr. Heo Young-yup, who went to Kaesong with the cardinal, said Yeom didn't meet any North Korean officials there. Pope Francis planned to visit South Korea on 14–18 August to participate in the 6th Asian Youth Day, presiding over a beatification ceremony for Paul Yun Ji-Chung and 123 companions and bring a message of peace to the war-divided peninsula. Francis visit on 14 to 18 August 2014 has been the first in 25 years by a pope to the Korean Peninsula and the second pope to do so after Pope John Paul II.
- Korea Herald (25 June 2012). "Archbishop Yeom: A humble pastoral worker". The Korea Herald. Herald Corporation. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
He took 'Amen Veni Domine Jesu,' from Revelation 22:20, as his episcopal motto... reflecting his strong connection with God and his humble character.
- RINUNCIA DELL’ARCIVESCOVO DI SEOUL (COREA) E NOMINA DEL SUCCESSORE[permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 March 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Korea Herald (10 May 2012). "Vatican names Bishop Yeom new Seoul archbishop". The Korea Herald. Herald Corporation. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Appointments[permanent dead link]
- Korea Herald (25 June 2012). "Seoul Catholic Church welcomes new archbishop Yeom Soo-jung". The Korea Herald. Herald Corporation. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Vincent, Stephen (21 February 2014). "With New Cardinal and New Martyrs, Church Is Growing in South Korea". National Catholic Register. Seoul, South Korea: EWTN News, Inc. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- Affatato, Paolo (13 January 2014). "Andrew Yeom Soo-jung: A pastor of martyrdom and reconciliation". Vatican Insider. Rome: La Stampa. Archived from the original on 17 January 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Somogyi, Viktoria (1 February 2014). "Exclusive Portrait – Andrew Yeom Soo-jung". Inside the Vatican. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- "SKorea Catholic cardinal makes 1st visit to NKorea". Daily Mail. Seoul, South Korea: Associated Newspapers Ltd. Associated Press. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- "Yeom Soo-jung Card. Andrew". Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- Andrew Yeom Soo-jung
- (in Korean) Official website
- "For new Korean cardinal, red of martyrdom is part of family history", National Catholic Reporter, 4 February 2014
|Catholic Church titles|
Nicolas Cheong Jin-suk
| Archbishop of Seoul
25 June 2012 – present
Paul Shan Kuo-hsi
| Cardinal Priest of San Crisogono|
4 October 2014 – present