CBCK News


An international symposium to the memory of Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan was held from September 17 to 18, 2009, at Sogang University in Seoul. This symposium was organized by the Graduate School of Theology of Jesuit-run Sogang University with the theme "Leadership of the Church of Asia: In memory of the late Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan." It was held with a view to look into the life and faith of Cardinal Kim with his human aspects, as well as his vision of Ordained Ministry, his social activities, his dialogue with other religions and his spirituality. Looking back over the life and spirituality of Cardinal Kim who left big mark not only on the Church in Korea but also on the entire Korean society, the participants had a time reflect on the authentic leadership needed today.


The Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, (President of the CBCK and Bishop of Cheju, through his keynote speech entitled "The life and the vision of Cardinal Kim", said, "Cardinal Kim was a venerable great senior in our history, who did his best to fulfill his duties as the ecclesiastical leader during the turbulent 20th century that the society and the Church in Korea went through". And he added, "With the guidance of God who made him schooled in adversity during Japanese colonial rule, Korean War and military dictatorship, he could make remarkable achievements in comtemporary history of Korea".


Dr. Lee Jang-woo (Director of the Research Institute for Korean Church History) evaluated, "Thanks to Cardinal Kim, the Church in Korea has played a role of mediator coordinating various conflicts of Korean society on one side and harmonizing the Catholicism with traditional values on the other side, making thus the Christianism reborn in Korean society. As a result, the conflict between the Christianism and the Confucianism could be overcome, and the Korean society could create new values".

Both Korean and foreign speakers agreed that the spirituality of Cardinal Kim is rooted in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council through which the Catholic Church opened the door to the world.


Father John Pak Pyong-Gwan (SJ, Sogang University, Korea), through his paper entitled "Toward 'aggressive fidelity' to Vatican II: Stephen Cardinal Kim's spirituality, Contextualized and Interpreted", saying that Cardinal Kim was a faithful heir and executor of the spirit of Vatican II, emphasized that the characteristics of his spirituality was the unity of the faith and the life.


Father Jeffrey Chang (SJ, Arupe International Residence, Philippines), through his speech on "Cardinal Kim and the FABC vision of Ordained Ministry", stressed, "His ministry was not only for Koreans but also for the many peoples of Asia", adding that "Cardinal Kim played a significant role in the establishment of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference(FABC)".


Father Jose Mario Francisco (Loyola School of Theology, Philippines) made the comparison between Cardinal Kim and Cardinal Jaime Sin of the Philippines, through his paper entitled "Cardinal Kim and Sin in Context: A Hermeneutics of Pastoral Leadership", and stressed that both Cardinal Kim and Cardinal Sin practiced themselves the Christian love and justice by defending the poor and the oppressed under the difficult time of military dictatorship. He also added that "They shared as 'heirs of the Faith' in a post Vatican II era. Both took it upon themselves to preach the Gospel of Christ in and through love to Asia."


Professor Edmund Ryden (SJ, Department of Law Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan) through his paper entitled "A Tale of Two Cardinals: Manning and Kim", comparing Cardinal Kim and Cardinal Manning of England, emphasized that two cardinals led the Church to participate actively in the social problems, making thus the Church advance toward new era.


Father Denis Kim Woo-sun (SJ, University of Sogang), through his speech on "For You and for All (Pro Vobis et Pro Multus): Stephen Cardinal Kim, Church and Civil Society", asserted, "The life of Cardinal Kim became the source of inspiration for the common good and social solidarity in our modern society, which easily forget the socially weak and ignore the stranger".


Besides, Professor Geoffrey King (SJ, Jesuit run Faculty of Theology, Australia) spoke on "Bishops and Governance: Vatican II and the Code of Canon law", and Father Bernard Senégal (SJ, Religious Studies Department of Sogang University, Korea) and Professor Lee Chong-bae (Methodist Theological University, Korea) appreciated the openness of Cardinal Kim toward other religions through their paper entitled "Cardinal Kim and Interfaith Diologue: The Potentialities of Buddhist-Christina Encounter in South Korea" and "Ecumenical Theology of Cardinal Kim viewed by a Protestant Theologian", respectively.

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