(LEAD) Peter Chung Soon-taick installed as new archbishop of Seoul
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with ceremonies, quotes; ADDS photos)
SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- Peter Chung Soon-taick officially assumed the role of the new archbishop of Seoul on Wednesday, succeeding Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, who served in the post for nearly a decade.
Chung became the 14th archbishop of Seoul during an installation ceremony and Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral in central Seoul, attended by about 600 representatives of the clergy, the monks and nuns, and the laity as well as ranking government officials.
"(God) has appointed the new archbishop as the leader most needed in our time," Yeom said in his congratulatory speech during the ceremony. "We are all living in the difficult COVID-19 era, and the church is also suffering. In times like this, let's follow the lives of the all the saints under the leadership of the archbishop."
After Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea Alfred Xuereb read Pope Francis' letter appointing Chung as archbishop of Seoul, Chung took the oath of obedience, saying he would follow God's will.
Chung, 60, then accepted a pastoral staff symbolizing the authority of the pastoral office from his predecessor Yeom and took a seat in the cathedra, or bishop's chair.
"I think our archdiocese has the task of thinking about the role of the church that our society demands as it heads toward the 2030s and how we should respond to it," Chung said in his speech during the Mass.
He vowed the church's efforts to support the young people "who suffer the most in society."
After the Mass, there was a separate congratulatory ceremony, where Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, Bishop Mathias Lee Yong-hoon, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered congratulatory messages.
A native of Daegu, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, Chung studied chemical engineering at Seoul National University, and upon graduating in 1984, he enrolled at the Catholic University of Korea.
Two years later, Chung entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1992 and earned a master's degree in sacred scriptures at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome in 2004.
Chung later served as definitor general of the Order of Discalced Carmelites in Rome for the Far East and Oceania and then became auxiliary bishop for Seoul in 2013.
After being consecrated as bishop in 2014, Chung was president of the Committee for Youth Ministry of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea.
In October, Pope Francis appointed him the 14th archbishop of Seoul and the apostolic administrator of Pyongyang as Yeom offered his resignation in 2018, the year he turned 75.
Major N. Korean websites offline as of Tuesday morning
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