By Robin Gomes
The new apostolic nuncio South Korean has conveyed the support of Pope Francis for peace and reconciliation on the peninsula and pledged to further the unity of the country’s Catholics and pastors with the Holy See.
Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, the Holy See’s new Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia, arrived in Seoul on May 27 at the start of his diplomatic mission in South Korea.
Korean bishops and representatives of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) welcomed him at Incheon International Airport where he addressed a press conference.
Commitment to Church
"The prime role of a nuncio," he said, "is to help worshippers and pastors at local churches. I will meet with bishops in Korea as soon as possible and listen to what they have to say."
"I will also work to more closely unify the Holy See and the Korean church," the Maltese archbishop said.
He said that during a farewell Mass with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Thursday, the Holy Father send his apostolic blessing to the Korean bishops and faithful.
Korean peace and reconciliation
He said that the Pope is well informed about the situation on the Korean peninsula and has great hopes that the peace and reconciliation talks that started with the April 27 summit at the Truce Village of Panmunjom will continue and be successful so that future generations will have a peaceful and prosperous future.
“He told me, ‘Please assure the Korean people and also the bishops that he will continue praying that future generations will have a future of stability and prosperity,’” the 59-year old archbishop said during Sunday's press conference.
"As a papal representative in South Korea,” he said, “I will convey his thoughts and wishes to authorities in Korea."
In the Vatican since 2000, Archbishop Xuereb has served Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. On February 26, Pope Francis appointed him archbishop and Apostolic Nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia. Pope Francis consecrated him bishop on March 19 in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica.