Pope names South Korea bishop prefect for clergy

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has appointed South Korean Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik of Daejeon as the new prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

The Vatican made the announcement June 11, adding that the outgoing prefect, Italian Cardinal Beniamino Stella, 79, would remain at the congregation until the new prefect could assume his role.

The new prefect has also been made an archbishop, the Vatican added.

Born Nov. 17, 1951, in Nonsan, Archbishop You studied in Seoul and in Rome, where he received his doctorate in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Lateran University.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1979 and served in a variety of positions in the Diocese of Daejeon, including spiritual director, professor and finally president of the Catholic University of Daejeon.

St. John Paul II named him coadjutor bishop of Daejeon in 2003 and he became head of the diocese in 2005.

Within the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, he has been a member of many commissions, including those for mission and pastoral care, social affairs, and the pastoral care of migrants and foreign residents. He was president of the bishops’ committee for Caritas Korea from 2004 to 2008.

He has been a member of the conference’s Commission for Clergy and Religious since 2005 and had been a member of the Pontifical Council for “Cor Unum” until it was absorbed by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in 2017.

Archbishop You hosted events held in Daejeon as part of the Sixth Asian Youth Day, sponsored by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, and attended by Pope Francis in 2014.

The appointment comes just a few days after Pope Francis announced he had asked Bishop Egidio Miragoli of Mondovì, Italy, to conduct an official visit of the Congregation for Clergy, a move he had also made before naming a new prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Cardinal Stella will reach the mandatory retirement age of 80 Aug. 18. He was appointed prefect by Pope Francis in September 2013.

The congregation coordinates and promotes the training of candidates for the permanent diaconate and diocesan priesthood and their ongoing formation after ordination. It also handles the requests of diocesan priests and deacons seeking dispensations from their ministerial obligations, promotes the active functioning of presbyteral and parish councils and is involved with safeguarding the use of church assets.

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