Academic Seminar on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Evangelium Vitae
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the proclamation of Evangelium Vitae, the encyclical of Pope Saint John Paul II, the CBCK Committee for Bioethics (President: Most Rev. Matthias RI Iong-hoon) and the Committee for Life of the Archdiocese of Seoul (President: H.E. Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung) held an academic seminar at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea on May 30, 2015, to analyze the current situation in our society.
At the seminar, Fr. Lee Dong-ik, Secretary of the CBCK Committee for Bioethics, gave a lecture on “The Background and Beginnings of the Proclamation of Evangelium Vitae”. He said, “the encyclical is the urgent appeal for the people to respect, protect and love individuals and each human life in the name of God.” He added that we, who are daily asked to choose between a culture of life and a culture of death, need it very urgently.
Reviewing Evangelium Vitae in the view of Bioscience, Professor Kim Joong Gon at Seoul National University, College of Medicine drew attention to human dignity and the respect of life value as the Bioscience. Efficiency and economic feasibility have taken the priority. He also argued that a new nationwide movement for life needs to be developed. Also, he mentioned that it is necessary to respect life and accept it as a gift.
Kim Dong Gwang, a professor at Korea University, School of Electrical Engineering, made a presentation on “Evangelium Vitae and the Technology Society”. In his analysis he has found that Bioethics has bowed to technology in our neoliberal society. Also, he said that subordinated Bioethics cannot control the wrong direction of technology. Therefore, he added that people should pay attention to social structures which are destroying life and producing an inequality of knowledge.
Yoo Hye Sook, a professor at Catholic University of Daegu, said that the Church, in cooperation with people of good will, should exert all her efforts to improve our society where all humanity will respect all life.