Seoul Archbishop: WYD 2027 will offer new experience of unity in Christ

Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taek of Seoul expresses his joy and hopes over the announcement on 6 August of the South Korean capital hosting the 2027 World Youth Day. He says it will offer a new "taste" and a great opportunity to experience unity in Christ.

By Francesca Merlo and Thaddeus Jones

At the conclusion of the World Youth Day Mass on Sunday 6 August, Pope Francis announced that Seoul, South Korea, will host the next World Youth Day international gathering in 2027.

Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taek of Seoul expressed his joy over the news speaking to Vatican News' Francesca Merlo. He said he sees World Youth Day as "a great opportunity for all of us because although the culture and language are different, we can feel we are the same, God's people, we are one."

Listen to the interview with Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taek

He went on to say the experience in his homeland of Korea will offer young people the chance to "taste Korean culture, a different taste, but they also will feel unity in Christ."

“An occasion to taste Korean culture and feel unity in Christ.”

Wealth of diversity

Archbishop Chung hopes to offer a unique experience for young people who will travel to Korea in 2027, also one that helps them get to know the rich heritage and diversity found in Asia where Christians often live in minority and multi-religious contexts.

He believes the unity and fraternity experienced by the young people can also be shared with all Koreans and people in the region. 

New impetus for south Korean Youth Ministry

The preparations and organizational logistics of bringing together hundreds of thousands, or as in Lisbon, over one and a half million young people together are daunting, Archbishop Chung acknowledges, but he is optimistic he can gather the help and volunteers necessary with the same great dedication found in Lisbon.

He also believes he can relaunch the nation's youth ministry, which became difficult due to the Covid pandemic. 

Shaping the leaders of tomorrow

In conclusion, he says "World Youth Day is a great opportunity for young people in Korea and young people in the world," and a way to help young people be the protagonists for the good of the world.

"Young people in Korea will become [tomorrow's] young leaders, in the Church and in society," the archbishop noted: "We will accompany them to grow into young leaders."

“Young people will grow into young leaders.”

Invitation to all


Archbishop Chung Soon-taek pointed out that it will not just be South Korea, but the whole of the Asian continent in the limelight for "hosting World Youth Day".

"So we, Korean bishops and the Korean Church, will share this opportunity and we will discuss it with other countries. Also, we would like to invite them," he said: "You are welcome and you are invited. Come and taste and let's work together. Let's prepare together for the next World Youth Day!"

“Let's prepare together for the next World Youth Day!”

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06 August 2023, 17:37