CBCK News


Communications on Dec. 15, 2000

2009.08.24 10:38


* A Message on Human Rights Sunday

On the occasion of the 19th Human Rights Sunday, the Committee for Justice and Peace of the CBCK issued a message and said that it is time for the State, society and Church to be concerned more for the promotion of human rights of the marginalized neighbors, and the human community can enjoy its true meaning of existence only when people's dignity and value as human being are fully recognized.
The message published with title of "Let us build a society of justice" pointed out that the most important structure that helps people to build free character and promote human dignity is a just social order" and added that "we, who live the new millennium, are called to respect the human dignity and human rights, and to put all our wisdom and power together in order to overcome political, economical and social crisis to build a human centered community that exists for people."
"We have to approach to problems of the poor, unemployed, homeless, beggars and children having only mother or father from the viewpoint of not only the economy but also the human dignity and survival because the human community can enjoy its true meaning of existence only when people's dignity and value as human being are fully recognized."
With regard to the unfair Status of Forces Agreement between Korea and the U.S. the message urged its revision because of its unequalness.
The message also said clearly that human cloning and experiment on human body are diametrically opposed against the creation order and human dignity, thus it should be banned by all means.

* Bishops to Issue Pastoral Letters for Year 2001

All the diocesan Bishops in Korea issued the 2001 pastoral letter on December 3rd, the first Sunday of Advent and mapped out their pastoral orientation for 2001.
Mission, inner conversion and social evangelization were presented as key orientation with focus on activation of small community, prayer life, re-education of the faithful and option for the poor. The Bishops thanked the faithful for the fruitful efforts for the mission they have shown during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 and called for further dedication for the Kingdom of God in 2001. The Most Rev. Paul Ri, Archbishop of Taegu, who concluded the diocesan synod, recently stressed on the promotion of more autonomous and organic parish communities centered on prayer life while the Most Rev. William McNaughton, Bishop of Inchon, asked the faithful to commit themselves fully to the mission work, re-evangelization of the faithful and social evangelization in accordance with its synod resolution. Pastoral letter of the Most Rev. Gabriel Chang, Bishop of Cheongju, and the Most Rev. Paul T. Kim, Bishop of Cheju, placed the emphasis on the importance of family that is the foundation of the Church and society, while the Most Rev. Vincent Ri, Bishop of Chonju, put focus on the biblical apostolate. Rev. Reo Kim, Diocesan Administrator of Andong, of which the majority of the faithful are farmers, stressed environmental issues and activation of farmers' apostolate.

* CBCK Calls for U.S. Bishops' Solidarity Action for SOFA Revision

During the 9-day negotiation meeting of Korea and the Unites States for the revision of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) held from November 29th to December 8th in Seoul, the CBCK sent an official letter with a long and detailed document to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Unites States and called for an solidarity action upon the U.S. government for a successful result. The Bishops urged their U.S. counterpart for an urgent solidarity action by saying that the SOFA has been one of the constant sources of troubles and frictions between the two allies, and Korean people have raised questions and doubts on the unfair SOFA demanding its revision. "The SOFA talks now underway in Seoul treats important issues for Korean people such as environmental issues, criminal jurisdiction, granting and returning of areas and facilities, quarantine procedures for animals and plants and labor conditions for Korean employees of U.S. Forces in Korea. All these issues are important elements closely related to Korean people's life and make a significant impact in keeping good and friendly relationship with the U.S." they said.
"Korean people require a sound revision of the SOFA in consideration of Korea's changed international status and the results of earlier revisions made bilaterally between the United States and other countries where U.S. troops are stationed. At the present, the two countries are seeking to conclude negotiations before U.S. president Bill Clinton's term expires in January. However, we, the Korean Bishops, are concerned about differences of views and opinions between the two governments over the major issues. Hereby, we cordially urge the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the United States and all its related Catholic organizations to have a special concern for the ongoing talks of revision of the SOFA and take a direct action over the U.S. government on behalf of Korean people so that the negotiation bears a fair and future-oriented result in order to maintain and promote further relationship between the two peoples."

* A Message on Caritas Sunday

The Most Rev. Gabriel Chang, President of Caritas Coreana, issued a message for 17th Caritas Sunday on December 17. In the message with theme of "Let's be Good Samaritan to suffering people," Bishop Chang said "Advent is time to prepare for Jesus who comes to us as a little baby who is weak and vulnerable, therefore the best way to welcome our Savior is to be generous with our neighbors who need our help."
"God has planted merciful heart in human beings, thus it is Jesus who opens such heart to us. To be a Christian means to be a person of compassion for the poor and who gives hands to those in need and who make people to help their neighbors in need."
Bishop Chang reminded the Catholic welfare organizations and all those who are dedicated for the charity work of the importance of charity done with sincere heart and in discretion. "When you give arms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Mt 6,4). He pointed out that "The most affected people by the economic development are the poor who live in the shadow of the society of progress and development," and asked to pay attention to them first.


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