* A New Korean Cardinal Named
The news that the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul, was named a new cardinal by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 22, 2006 brought great joy to the Korean society as well as the Catholic Church in Korea. He is the long-awaited second Korean cardinal since the creation of His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan in 1969, who has been regarded and respected as a true meaning of "senior" of the Korean society.
After the announcement, the new cardinal expressed gratitude to the Holy Father and the Korean people, saying, "I'd like to attribute today's glory to the help and support of the Korean people and government as well as the Church. I think that the appointment reflects the enhanced status of the Catholic Church in Korea in the world." He also went on, "I will make best efforts to respond to the expectation of people and contribute to the common good of the whole country."
The Most Rev. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Auxiliary of Seoul, said, "This joy gives us a message that the Church should be more dedicated to the efforts for peace, justice and love through self-renewal and harmony with other religions."
The Venerable Jigwan, executive director of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, also sent a congratulatory message which says, "The appointment of a second Korean cardinal shows that the Catholic Church in Korea is deeply trusted by the Universal Church and is expected to play an important role for the world peace. We Korean Buddhists also expect the new cardinal to make efforts to relieve the conflict and suffering of humanity as the apostle of love and peace."
President Noh Moo-hyun and former President Thomas More Kim Dae-jung, a Catholic, also congratulated the new cardinal and called on him to exert himself with enthusiasm and energy for the development and peace in this land.
* CBCK to Establish a Representative Structure for Social Communication of the Church
At the regular meeting of the CBCK Committee for Social Communications (President: Most Rev. Paul Choi Deok-ki) held on Feb. 15, 2006, the committee members reached a consensus on the need to intensify the social communication function of the Church.
Bishop Choi first raised this question, saying, "We need to examine if the committee sufficiently performed its duty to communicate the opinions of the Catholic Church to society when the Church was involved in social issues, such as opposition to the human embryonic research."
Br. Park Gyeong-seok of Don Bosco Information Culture Center pointed out, "It is necessary to educate and train professionals who will raise an objection to and correct biased or distorted reports of secular media regarding the Church."
Mr. Peter Choi Hong-un, a Director of Korea Press Foundation, noted, "In many cases, the voice of the Catholic Church could not permeate into society but just remained within the Church. As there are many important issues requiring the intervention of the Church, we should prepare to communicate our voice to society clearly and explicitly."
Bishop Choi repeatedly called on the 22 members to make best use of mass media in order to facilitate the intervention of the Church and to enhance the image of the Church in the society.
In this regard, the Permanent Council of the CBCK at its regular meeting on Feb. 20 approved the plan to establish the Planning Department for Social Communications within the CBCK. As a representative structure of the Church for social communications, the department will focus on spreading the Catholic spirit and idea through mass media in cooperation with the existing Catholic media and communication organizations.