Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taek of Seoul ordained 16 new priests and 25 new deacons for the archdiocese. These ordinations took place in Myeongdong Cathedral on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, in preparation for World Youth Day 2027 in South Korea. The number of priests in the archdiocese now stands at 985, with the potential to reach 1,010 if the deacons are ordained as well. Deacons and priests have vital roles in the Church, including proclaiming the Gospel and administering sacraments. The ordination ceremony was themed around the biblical verse “Let innocence and uprightness preserve me; I wait for you, O Lord” (Psalm 25:21), emphasizing the call to righteousness. South Korea, with a population of 52.6 million, has about 11% identifying as Catholics. Pope Francis visited South Korea in 2014 during the sixth Asian Youth Day.
Archbishop Peter Chung’s Ordination Ceremony
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Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taek of Seoul recently ordained 16 new priests and 25 new deacons for the archdiocese. These ordinations, held on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 at Myeongdong Cathedral, mark a significant moment for the Catholic community in South Korea, especially as the country prepares to host World Youth Day 2027.
Growth in Clergy Numbers
With these ordinations, the number of priests in the main South Korean archdiocese has increased from 969 to 985. If the 25 deacons ordained also become priests, the count would rise to 1,010. Among the 985 priests are Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop emeritus of Seoul, the current archbishop, and three auxiliary bishops.
Roles of Deacons and Priests
Deacons and priests play crucial roles within the Catholic Church. They are tasked with proclaiming the Gospel, administering sacraments, and serving as collaborators of the bishop. The priest, in particular, celebrates holy Mass as a representative of Christ. Deacons, the first level of clergy in the Church hierarchy, can perform sacraments such as baptism and marriage.
Ordination Ceremony Theme
The ordination ceremony for both priests and deacons was themed around the biblical verse “Let innocence and uprightness preserve me; I wait for you, O Lord” (Psalm 25:21). Deacon Hwang Jun-ho, who suggested the theme, explained its significance. He emphasized the need for priests to overcome temptations and trials with “innocence and uprightness,” striving to resemble Jesus.
Catholicism in South Korea
In South Korea, a country with a population of 52.6 million, Catholics represent about 11% of the population. Despite being a minority, the Catholic community in South Korea is vibrant, with more than 5,700 priests and 1,784 parishes, according to the Vatican news agency Fides. Pope Francis’s visit to South Korea in 2014 during the sixth Asian Youth Day further highlighted the significance of the Catholic faith in the region.
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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.