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Communications on Jul. 19, 2002

2009.08.24 12:22

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* Church in Korea Expected to Play an Important Role for Mission to Mongolia

"While I visited Korean missionaries working in Monglolia under difficult conditions, I thought that the Church in Korea is becoming little by little a missionary Church. Church is true Church when she is truly missionary. In this sense, the Chuch in Korea has lots of efforts to make and long way to go," said the Most Rev. Michael Pak, Bishop of Masan and President of the CBCK(Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea), at the press conference held on his return from Mongolia.
The Most Rev. Pak made a visit to Mongolia from July 6-14 with His Eminence Crescenzio Cardinal Sepe, Prefect of the Congregaton of the Evanglization of Peoples, after the Cardinal's pastoral visit to the Church in Korea.
The Most Rev. Pak participated in the priestly ordination of the first Mongolian priest in Ulaanbaator and all events of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the treaty of amity between the Holy See and Mongolia, and met Korean priests and sisters in mission over there and visited their mission places.
"They are warmhearted and sympathetic people," he said his first impression of Mongolian people.
"For some 70 years they were under communist regime as one of the satellites states of the Soviet Union, thus, most of them are atheists," and went on, "so mission will not be so easy to carry out, however, if the Church in Korea makes big efforts she might bear good fruits."
"The Church in Korea has to make more efforts for mission. To become a true Church, the Church should be a missionary Church." he reinsisted.
On July 8, 2002, the Holy Father elevated the Mission "sui iuris" of Urga, Ulaanbaator to the status of Apostolic Prefecture, with the new denomination of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He appointed Fr. Wenceslaw Padilla, C.I.C.M., superior of the Mission "sui iuris", as the first apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaator.
About 90% of Mongolian people(3 million) believe in Lamaism.
Since the treaty with the Holy See in 1992, over 130 people were baptized. Mongolian people have freedom of religion, however, direct mission is not allowed.
South Korea and Mongolia signed a treaty of amity in 1990 and since then, 3 Korean priests from the Archdiocese of Taegu and Diocese of Taejon, and 4 Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres have been working there for mission.
Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres run two elementary schools and one Montessori school and the Society of St. Francis de Sales runs technical schools of Don Bosco, and Fr. Lee Jun-hwa from Daejeon runs a farm.
Korean Catholic Community has Mass once a month on last Sunday of the month which some 30 Catholic attend.
On the occasion of elevation of the Mission "sui iuris" of Urga, Ulaanbaator to the status of Apostolic Prefecture, the Holy See said "the increase of the number of Catholics in Ulaanbaator is a great hope for the Church."

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