* Catholic Church to Present a Petition for the Abolition of Capital Punishment
Welcoming the government’s recent decision to review the question of replacing capital punishment with life imprisonment, the Committee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) announced that it would present the government with a petition for the abolition of capital punishment at a press conference in
The campaign for the petition was started on the occasion of Human Rights Sunday on
In the press release titled "Let's inspire respect for life in this land!" the committee asserted, "It is an individual who commits a crime, but all members of society are responsible for the criminal motives." It continued: "The abolition of capital punishment is the first step towards a world for living together" and it made a proposal for the replacement of the death sentence with a lifetime imprisonment sentence.
In his homily during the Mass for the Abolition of Capital Punishment, the Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san asserted, "No one has the right to deprive people of life, because human life belongs only to God." He also asked the faithful to pray for the abolition of the death penalty so that can become a developed country in the area of human rights where God-given life is considered precious."
The committee will continue to arrange congresses to heighten public awareness on the issue and will have meetings with the members of the National Assembly until capital punishment is abolished.
* Symposium on the Pastoral Care of the Disabled
The Pastoral Institute of Korea of the CBCK held a symposium on the pastoral care of the disabled with the theme "The Catholic Church living with the Disabled" at the CBCK building in Seoul on Mar. 3, in order to listen to the voices inside and outside of the Church on this matter.
Among the six participants were a priest, a religious, and lay people who are in charge of the pastoral care and the welfare of the disabled. The lay presenters were themselves disabled. In this symposium, they had opportunities to share their experiences and to search for effective methods for the improvement of pastoral care.
Mr. Pak Jeong-geun, director of
The Rev. Michael Jeong Sun-oh, pastor of Beon-dong Parish in
The participants agreed that it is necessary to reflect on the sense of responsibility of the pastoral workers and to support the disabled systematically. Several constructive and concrete plans were suggested, such as the formation of pastoral workers, the establishment of a national committee for the disabled and of a Sunday for the Disabled. Convenient facilities for the disabled were suggested (e.g. removing of doorsills and setting up elevators in new church buildings).