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Message from the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea

 

Regarding the South Korea-United States Summit

and the North Korea-United States Summit on June 30, 2019

 

Today two leaders, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and United States President Donald Trump met in Seoul. Subsequently, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the NK State Affairs Commission, together with President Moon, met and shook hands in a show of peace at Panmunjeom, a place which symbolizes the division of the Korean Peninsula: this was a first since the armistice was declared 66 years ago. Today’s meeting took place four months after the breakdown of the NK-US summit in Hanoi, Vietnam in February. This meeting marks a historic milestone on the road to peace on the Korean Peninsula, in Northeast Asia, and the world. Such progress aims at achieving complete denuclearization and the building of a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue. Together with all the Korean Catholic bishops and believers, I appreciate the courageous determination of President Moon, President Trump, and Chairman Kim in their efforts to restart talks for peace.

 

The 25th of June marked the 69th anniversary of the outbreak of the fratricidal Korean War. On the anniversary, the Catholic Church in Korea celebrated a ‘Day of Prayer for the Reconciliation and Unity of the Korean People’ with the ‘Mass for Peace on the Korean Peninsula.’ The Mass was offered with the theme, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Mt 5,9), in Imjingak, a village bordering the DMZ in South Korea. In the Old Testament, the Israelites welcomed a new grace-filled era when they were liberated from their 70 years of Babylonian exile (cf. 2Chr 36,21). Inspired by this history, we, during the Mass, prayed that 2020, which will mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, may become a new beginning for a blissful era. An era of peace and unity which will overcome the tragedy of national division through the ending of the Korean War and the declaration of a peace treaty on the Korean peninsula. Furthermore, the Catholic Church in Korea calls for the continuation of inter-Korean dialogue and exchanges, and also asks the international community for its support and encouragement. We sincerely desire that the SK-US Summit in Seoul and the NK-US Summit at Panmunjeom may result in good news, which will lessen anxiety and simultaneously increase hope, and ultimately increase trust in inter-Korean relations and the wider international situation.

 

Despite all the difficulties on the journey towards a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula and the development of international cooperation, we should continue to meet frequently and talk together with open minds. Then, the day of reconciliation and the unity of the Korean people will eventually come. The Catholic Church in Korea, in solidarity with the universal Church, continues to pray for those who work for peace on the Korea Peninsula. May God abundantly bestow blessings of courage and strength upon them, the peacemakers.

 

June 30, 2019

 

+ Hyginus Kim Hee-joong

Archbishop of Gwangju

President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea

 

 

 

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753 Messages for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2009.08.14 14444
752 Statement Against the Legislation of a Law on So-Called 'Dignified Death' Recognized as an Euthanasia 2009.08.27 13592
751 Prohibition of the Sacrament of Matrimony for the Migrant Women in Disguised Marriage 2010.11.22 13150
750 The First Joint Retreat of Catholics and Protestants 2010.08.31 13047
749 Message for the 96th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2010 2010.04.16 12935
748 A Documentary Film on the Life of a Korean Missionary Priest is a Good Box Office 2010.11.01 12837
747 Decree of the Bishop of Suwon on the Private Revelation of Theresa Hwang of Sangju Date 2008-10-17 2009.08.27 12794
746 Forum on the Cooperation of the Government and the Church with the Management of the Social Welfare Facilities 2010.11.01 12423
745 National Common Educational Materials for Marriage Preparation 2015.11.16 12060
744 The 25th Catholic Mass Communications Awards Ceremony 2016.01.29 11948
743 The 21th Korean-Japanese Bishops’ Exchange Meeting 2016.01.29 11881
742 Benedictine Sr. Caritas, Mother of the Deaf-Dumb, Celebrates Her 88th Birthday 2009.08.24 11853
741 International Symposium Held to the Memory of Stephen Cardinal Kim 2009.09.25 11820
740 Inter-religious Youth Make Peace Pilgrimage 2009.08.24 11808
739 Presentation of the Petition for the Beatification of 124 Korean martyrs and Fr. Thomas Choe Yang-eo 2009.08.27 11788
738 A Joint Statement on the Construction Plan of Gondola Lifts in National Parks 2015.11.16 11673
737 A Special Seminar on the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy 2015.11.16 11577
736 Handbook for Pilgrimage to Catholic Shrines in Korea 2011.08.26 11513
735 Message for the 27th Human Rights Sunday 2009.08.27 11460

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