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SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- Pope Francis appointed the South Korean bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik as the new prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, the Vatican said Friday.
You, 69, chief of the diocese of Daejeon, was also promoted to archbishop as he became the first South Korean to be appointed to a secretary position.
The congregation is responsible for overseeing matters regarding priests and deacons not belonging to religious orders, as well as seminaries. The office is known for overseeing more than 400,000 priests around the world.
You is known as one of a few South Korean priests who have close communications with Pope Francis. They became acquainted during the World Youth Day event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013. The pope visted South Korea in 2014 at the invitation of You.
"I will assist Pope Francis well," You told Yonhap News Agency after the appointment. "I will help Catholic priests in the world and manage Catholic seminaries."
You said he was offered the position by the pope when he visited the Vatican in April.
He plans to head to Rome in late July to take office the following month to replace Italian Cardinal Beniamino Stella.
Born in central city of Nonsan in 1951, You graduated from Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1979 and bishop in 2003.
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