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Communications on Nov. 23, 2001

2009.08.24 11:55

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* Message for 2001 Biblical Week

"Your Word is a Lamp to My Feet"
and "Light to My Path." (Ps. 118[119], 105)

On the occasion of the 2001 Biblical Week, Nov. 25th to Dec. 2nd, the Most Rev. John Chang, President of the Biblical Committee of the CBCK, issued a message and invited the faithful "to look together for right way of how to think and how to behave and where to go in the light of the Word of God, the light to our path as we suffer from political and social unrest, collapse of value systems and of family as well as economic difficulties." "As people are physically nourished with daily meals, we should live upon the Word of Lord by daily reading and meditation of the Bible.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Seeing the abundantly ripened crops and fruits, we realize that this year is already drawing to its end. The empty fields and trees of woods dropping their leaves fall into silence to conceive a new life of hope. Opening the door of the year of 2001, we expected it to be a year of good start of new millennium of peace and unity. However, we only had to witness the frightening tragedy happened in the U.S.A. on last September 11th and the subsequent retaliatory attacks against terrorism. It seems that the entire world is dragged into tribulations and hard times of mutual rejection, hatred, hostility, retaliation, fear and fright. In our country, we also suffer from political and social unrest, collapse of value systems and of family as well as economic crisis. In this insecure situation, we believers are called to look together for right way of how to think and how to behave, and where to go.
Most of the ordinary people, unknown individuals and families in our society are leading upright lives with sincerity and patience. However, there are also many people of good will including young people who are alienated from the society, straying and feeling empty. This is our unfortunate reality. In this troubled times, we should look after ourselves not to be swayed by the earthly confusion but by the stand firm.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Yes. In these difficult times only the Word of true life can cast lights on our path. In this regard, we should cherish and live out the theme of Biblical Week, the concluding week of this year.
"Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path."(Ps. 118[119], 105).

In fact, as the times become more difficult, we should more actively open ourselves to the guiding Word of Lord and trust ourselves in the merciful God. Only when we try to live according to the Bible, not on the 'power' or 'wisdom' of the world, may we find a right direction and obtain strength to overcome tribulations. The Word of Lord, the source of life, will lead us to tolerance, love, unity and peace, not to hatred and division.


Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As people are physically nourished with daily meals, we should live upon the Word of Lord by daily reading and meditation of the Bible. Like the Peter's example, let us confess anew our faith in Lord.
"Lord, to whom we can go?
You have the words of eternal life."(Jn 6, 68)

O Lord,
Help us to believe the Bible as the Word of Life and proclaim it so we can enjoy the peace of Holy Spirit.
November 25th, 2001
Solemnity of Christ the King

+ John Chang
President
Biblical Committee


* Laity Called to Take the Lead of Upright Life Movement

On the occasion of the 33th Lay Sunday, Nov. 18th, the Lay Apostolate Council of Korea(LACK) launched Upright Life Movement and invited Korean lay faithful to take the lead of it.
The homily material that the LACK prepared for the 33th Lay Sunday said that Upright Life Movement was a movement of moral promotion and practical life. And also it said that honest and sincere life by thinking rightly, speaking rightly and acting rightly was the goal of our movement.
"Today, we the lay faithful are firmly resolute to take the lead of the Upright Life Movement individually and collectively. This movement is not a short-term movement but a continual response to the will of God manifested through the signs of the times.
The Upright Life Movement proposes to the faithful not to live at one's will but in the fear of God and to earn one's life by own labor and witness with courage the gospel of Christ to the world," the statement read.
"Restoration of morality means to turn our look to God and march toward Him,"said the Most Rev. W. McNaughten, Bishop of Inchon, by inviting the faithful to be salt and light to the world as Jesus has taught.
"Our reality has no space for conscience and moral. If we don't correct it now there won't be bright future and value system will be collapsed." Paul Kwon, President of the LACK of Diocese of Inchon said.


* Catholic Church Urged to Take Appropriate Countermeasure against Ethics Guidelines of Doctors

On Nov. 15th, the Korean Medical Association(KMA), an interest group of 65,000 doctors, made public so-called Ethics Guidelines of Doctors that allows its members to stop medical treatment to terminally ill patients and also gave virtual recognition to abortion, euthanasia, gender identification of fetuses and surrogate motherhood.
The announcement of ethics guidelines by the KMA have immediately provoked strong criticism of religion world and pro-life civic groups.
"With the new ethics guidelines of doctors, the KMA can't avoid criticism of being a self-interest group. Doctors are taking the lead of culture for death by rejecting their mission to be protectors of human life according to the Oath of Hippocrates," the Catholic Shinmun, one of the major Catholic Weeklies in Korea, commented.
In this regard, the KMA said that the contents of the guidelines have already been partially translated into action in this society, and that it would modify them continuously to cope with the changes in ethics and medical treatment technology.
The new ethics guidelines allow abortion in acceptable cases by stipulating in the 54th clause that doctors should pay special attention to the basic rights of fetuses toward performing abortions, even in case it is acceptable from a medical or social viewpoint.
In addition, the guidelines allow in the 30th clause to stop life-sustaining medical treatment in case patients proxies so request, and the 55th and 56th clauses they allow euthanasia and surrogate motherhood by recognizing acts that are banned legally and morally by the current laws.
With regard the passive mercy-killing, the KMA officials explain that it is to help patients suffering from fatal and incurable diseases to face death with the dignity as human being.
Last April, when the contents of the guidelines were announced, the KMA was strongly criticized by religion circle and civic groups.
Yet, the KMA decision is expected to face strong resistance from anti-abortion campaigners, including those from religion circles. The KMA's limits on abortion are also vague, as seen in the case of a doctor who was charged recently with homicide for using toxic material for an abortion procedure.
The KMA said that the ethics guidelines are not compulsory and it is up to the individual members to put it into practice depending on situations.
"It is critical. I just can't understand how the doctors whose mission is to protect human life can make such anti-life guidelines and call them ethics guidelines." said Rev. Paul Lee Chang-yeong, Executive Secretary of the Committee for Justice and Peace of the CBCK.
Organizations concerned in the Church including the Bioethics Committee of the CBCK and the Catholic Doctors Association evaluated the KMA's ethics guidelines as a serious threat to promotion of culture for life in Korean society. They decided to take immediate and appropriate countermeasures to cope with such anti-life trends.

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