Pope Francis appoints new archbishops for Seoul and Nairobi

Bishop Peter Chung Soon-Taick Bishop Peter Chung Soon-Taick. | cbck.or.kr.

Pope Francis on Thursday appointed new archbishops for the archdioceses of Seoul, South Korea, and Nairobi, Kenya.

Bishop Peter Chung Soon-Taick, a member of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, has been an auxiliary bishop of Seoul since December 2013.

The 60-year-old bishop was born in Daegu, southeastern South Korea, and studied chemical engineering before entering seminary. He was ordained a priest in the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1992.

The archbishop-elect also studied Sacred Scripture at the graduate level at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and was provincial definitor of the Order of Discalced Carmelites in Korea.

From 2009 to 2013, he was definitor general of the Discalced Carmelites in the general curia in Rome for the Far East and Oceania.

The Metropolitan Archdiocese of Seoul covers 6,701 square miles and serves 1.5 million Catholics, 15% of the population, according to 2017 statistics. The total population of the area is 9.9 million.

In 2017, the archdiocese had nearly 1,000 priests, 756 of whom were diocesan, and 2,367 men and women religious.

On Oct. 29, Pope Francis will meet the president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in. When the two met for the first time in 2018, Moon told Pope Francis: “I come to you as president of South Korea, but also as a Catholic. My baptismal name is Timothy.”

Archbishop Philip A. Anyolo. Philipp Jakob via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Archbishop Philip A. Anyolo. Philipp Jakob via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0).

For the Archdiocese of Nairobi, Pope Francis appointed 65-year-old Archbishop Philip A. Anyolo, who has led the Archdiocese of Kisumu since 2018.

Since 2015, Anyolo has served as president of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He was bishop of Homa Bay from 2003 to 2018, and of Kericho from 1996 to 2003. When he was appointed to lead the Diocese of Kericho in December 1995, Anyolo was just 39 years old. He was ordained a priest in 1983.

The Metropolitan Archdiocese of Nairobi covers 1,263 square miles. The Catholic population, according to 2019 figures, is over 50% of the population at 3.8 million.

As of 2019, the archdiocese had 715 priests and 4,785 men and women religious.

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