Visit of Cardinal Tauran to Korea
His Eminence Jean Louis Cardinal Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, President and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue respectively, visited Korea from May 23 to 27, 2011, at the invitation of the CBCK Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue (President: Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, Archbishop of Kwangju).
Cardinal Tauran met with the President of the Republic of Korea, the Minister of Culture, and the Director for Religious Affairs on May 24. At the meeting with the President of Korea, Mr. Lee Myung Bak, the Cardinal pointed out that the issue of reunification of Korea is important, and it is a journey that can be achieved through friendship, cultural and religious exchange, while the President expressed his hope for religious freedom in North Korea.
On the same day, Cardinal Tauran and Archbishop Celata visited the Jogye Temple of Korean Buddhism and the Korean Confucianism Center. They then met with representatives of Buddhism, Confucianism, Won Buddhism, Cheondoism, the Association of Native Korean Religions, and Protestant churches. Cardinal Tauran addressed them regarding the role of religions in establishing peaceful conviviality in the midst of diversity.
On May 25, Cardinal Tauran gave a lecture at the Catholic University of Korea on “Interreligious Dialogue According to Pope Benedict XVI” and affirmed, “Inter-religious dialogue is based in our common seeking of God and then to recognize the positive values of another religion.”
On May 26, Cardinal Tauran and Archbishop Celata visited the Jeoldu-san Korean Martyrs' Shrine and there concelebrated Mass. In his homily, Cardinal Tauran said, “Yes, we need the strength which comes from the highest to be like the Korean Martyrs, coherent and exemplary: our hope and our consolation is to know that God loves us first!”
This visit of Cardinal Tauran in Korea gave encouragement to Korean Catholics to continue the path of dialogue.