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Venerable Jikwan Sunim, President of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, has sent a welcoming address to Nicholas Cheong Jinsuk, archbishop of the Seoul Diocese, on his appointment to the position of cardinal by the Vatican. The message read, in part, “I warmly congratulate you for being the second Korean cardinal. This means Korean Catholics have gained recognition from Catholics all over the world and at the same time, it reflects the expectation that Korean Catholics will take a more active role in the struggle for world peace. I believe that the new cardinal will, as a messenger of love and harmony, exert every effort to ease the conflicts this world is facing now and devote himself to humanity.”
Here is the full message.
I heartily congratulate the appointment of Archbishop Cheong Jinsuk to the post of cardinal. Cardinals are in an important position next to the Pope and so they are called “Senators of the Catholic Church.” As indispensable cooperators in administering the churches scattered throughout the world, they are personally appointed by the Pope and stand in a position of confidence and assistance. To give this important seat to a Korean for the second time after Cardinal Stephen Kim Suhwan means that Korean Catholics have gained recognition from Catholics all over the world. At the same time, it reflects their expectation that Korean Catholics take a more active role in the struggle for world peace.
The virtue of a religion is to solve the conflicts and the sufferings of the people of the world. In order to achieve this, we should try hard through our individual traditions. At the same time we must learn to appreciate and understand the common values of humanity through dialogue and exchange among our fellow religious leaders.
I believe that the new cardinal will, as a messenger of love and harmony, exert every effort to ease the conflicts the world is facing now and so devote himself to humanity.
Buddhist year 2550, February 22, 2006
President of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism Jikwan