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South Korean Priest Appointed as Vatican Diplomat to Rwanda

Catholic priest Hwang In-je has officially joined the Vatican’s diplomatic corps, becoming the second-ever South Korean-born diplomat for the Holy See, according to pbr@yna.co.kr

The 36-year-old priest affiliated with the diocese of Daejeon, a southern city in South Korea, has been ordered to serve at the Vatican’s embassy in Rwanda, his first post since graduation from the graduate school of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy for diplomatic education for Catholic priests, according to the Vatican sources.
In accordance with the custom for Vatican diplomatic corps, he is scheduled to serve a one-year period of probation before officially taking office as a second secretary for a three-year stint in Rwanda.
The appointment puts Hwang, whose baptismal name is Thomas Aquinas, as the second South Korean native diplomatically representing the Holy See.
Archbishop Tschang In-nam is currently serving as the pope’s ambassador to Thailand, doubling as the ambassador to Cambodia and Myanmar.
Also a graduate of the Vatican academy for diplomacy, the 69-year-old archbishop has been serving in the Vatican diplomatic corps since 1985.
The Korean Catholic community is exuberant about the addition of another South Korean native to the Vatican diplomatic service, which requires high credentials, such as fluency in the Italian language, as well as knowledge in international law and relations and diplomacy.
Hwang was born to a family with deep Catholic faith, and his uncle is also a Catholic priest from the Daejeon diocese, known for his service to the poor and impoverished North Koreans.
He was ordained as a priest in 2011 and went to Rome in 2012 to study church law in the Pontifical Urban University before entering the academy. He was also given a doctor’s degree in the studies of canon law of the Roman Catholic Church in the Pontifical Lateran University in the Vatican City, with his thesis on the Vatican’s contributions of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The priest said, “With Archbishop Tschang In-nam’s faithful, ascetic fulfillment of his mission as my model, I hope I can carry out the mission given to me,” declining a request of a full interview because he wanted to make his trip to Rwanda a quiet event.

The Express News

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