Migrant advocate appointed South Korean Archbishop

Pope Francis has appointed a bishop who advocates for the rights of internal and foreign migrants in South Korea as the new head of one of the largest Catholic dioceses in the country.

Dec 02, 2022

Archbishop-elect Simon Ok Hyun-jin of Gwangju Archdiocese. (Photo: UCA News)


SEOUL: Pope Francis has appointed a bishop who advocates for the rights of internal and foreign migrants in South Korea as the new head of one of the largest Catholic dioceses in the country.

Monsignor Simon Ok Hyun-jin, auxiliary bishop of Gwangju Archdiocese since 2011, was elevated to the post of archbishop on Nov 19, said a notice from Vatican Press Office.

Archbishop-elect Ok, 54, succeeds Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, 75, who led the archdiocese since March, 2010 and tendered his resignation on reaching the mandatory retirement age.

The newly appointed archbishop is the president of the Committee for Immigrants and Foreign Residents of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK). He is also a member of the Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs of the CBCK.

Simon Ok Hyun-jin was born on March 5, 1968, in Muan, in the Archdiocese of Gwangju.

He was ordained a priest on Jan 26, 1994, and appointed auxiliary bishop of Gwangju on May 12, 2011. His episcopal ordination was on July 6, 2011, making him the youngest bishop in the country at the age of 43.

He has served as vicar-general of Gwangju since July 7, 2011.

Archbishop-elect Ok will oversee the Archdiocese of Gwangju which has more than 365,000 Catholics in 140 parishes taken care of by 268 diocesan and 53 religious priests..--ucanews.com

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