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Korea Could Get Second Cardinal

Posted February. 22, 2006 04:32,   


Pope Benedict XVI could announce the Vatican’s list of newly appointed cardinal-elects as early as February 22, the Italian press reported yesterday. The chances of a Korean being included on the list are high, according to officials at the Vatican and the Korean Catholic community.

The Pope will receive Korean devotees at the Vatican for about an hour and half at 8:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. in Korea time) on February 22. Members of “Samsohoe,” a group comprised of female apostles from different religions, including Buddhists, Won Buddhists, Catholics, and Anglicans, are expected to attend.

The Liberta On Line, an Italian news provider, said the tradition of announcing a list of new cardinal-elects generally occurs in receptions a month prior to the actual appointment. It predicted this year’s appointments would be made on March 25 at the Vatican’s cardinals’ convention.

Reuters reported that the list of 12 new cardinal-elects could be unveiled on February 22.

Shin Chang-sik, the chief secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Vatican, said yesterday that he believes the chances of such an announcement to be low, however. He is looking into the rumors saying the announcement will be made sometime this month.

Cardinal Kim Soo-hwan, Korea’s sole cardinal, was appointed by Pope Paul VI in 1969. The Korean Catholic community believes Chung Jin-suk (75), Chang Ik (73), Kang Woo-il (61), and Lee Byung-ho (65), who head the dioceses of Seoul, Chuncheon, Jeju, and Jeonju, respectively, may be possible candidates for a second cardinalship.

Jeong-Gook Yoon jkyoon@donga.com