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Salvadoran cardinal: Pope sending him to Korea to work for peace


  • Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez of San Salvador, El Salvador, celebrates Mass July 4 in San Salvador. Celebrating a July 8 Mass, the new cardinal said his first major assignment will be to travel to South Korea for a meeting on how to achieve peace with North Korea. (CNS photo/Rodrigo Sura, EPA)
  • New Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez of San Salvador, El Salvador, celebrates a Mass at the Parish of the Blessed Sacrament as he takes possession of his titular church in Rome July 2. Celebrating a July 8 Mass in El Salvador, Cardinal Rosa Chavez said his first major assignment will be to travel to South Korea for a meeting on how to achieve peace with North Korea. (CNS photo/Rodrigo Sura, EPA)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Celebrating a Mass in his native El Salvador, newly created Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez said his first major assignment will be to travel to South Korea for a meeting on how to achieve peace with North Korea.

During a homily in San Salvador's Metropolitan Cathedral July 8, Cardinal Rosa Chavez said that although he will "continue to be the least of my brother bishops" as auxiliary bishop, he is also entrusted to other matters by Pope Francis.

"I already received my first invitation to go to Seoul, South Korea, to attend a meeting to see how we can achieve peace between North and South Korea," the cardinal said; his remarks were followed by applause and cheers by the faithful.

Tensions continue to escalate in the Korean peninsula after North Korea conducted its first successful intercontinental ballistic missile test July 4. With an estimated range of 5,000 miles, the missile is capable of striking the U.S. mainland with a nuclear-tipped warhead.

In response, the U.S. and South Korean military held joint drills in a show of force against North Korea. However, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, North Korea has shown no signs of de-escalating its nuclear ambitions.

Cardinal Rosa Chavez, who worked closely with Blessed Oscar Romero before he was assassinated in 1980, was praised for his role in negotiations that brought peace to El Salvador after 12 years of civil war.

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