|* Bishops of Korea and Japan Agree to Extend Bishops' Exchange Meeting |
The bishops of Korea and Japan agreed to keep up the Exchange Meeting of the Bishops of Korea and Japan and extend its activities during the 9th meeting held from November 11, 2003 to 13 at the Diocesan Office of Nagasaki, Japan.
Initially the Meeting was set for 10 years with goal to study common concerns of the history of the two countries.
However, confirming the need and value of the Meeting, the bishops of both countries decided to extend their initial goal to other issues such as exchange of pastoral information, exchange of youth and people representing various circles of the Church.
Following this agreement the participants decided to draw out a concrete blueprint for the development of the project at the 10th meeting, slated for November 2004 in Seoul, Korea.
During the 9th meeting the participants discussed the common concerns about the family following two presentations of study on the family in relation to the 8th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) which will be held in August 2004, in Korea: Bishop Peter Lee Ki-heon, President of the Committee for Family Pastoral Ministry of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK), on the present condition of Korean family and Bishop Augustine Nomura Junichi, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan (CBCJ), on the family problem of migrant workers in Japan.
To mark the 80th year of the Great Kanto Earthquake, the bishops heard a lecture from Professor Eto Yoshiaki, a Japanese historian, with theme of "The lesson to be Learned from the Massacre of Koreans during the Great Kanto Earthquake."
Archbishop Paul Ri Moun-hi from Korea, in his appreciative words, congratulated the successful development of the Korean-Japanese Bishops' Meeting saying "Our understanding has grown deeper through our meetings and now we became friends", while Bishop Augustine Nomura Junichi, President of the CBCJ, said "We wish this Korean-Japanese Bishops' meeting contributes to promote friendly relation between people of the two countries of Korea and Japan."
Participants were 28 Bishops in all: 14 bishops from Korea including the Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, President of the CBCK, and Bishop Peter Kang U-il, Liaison Bishop of the Korean and Japanese Bishops' Meeting, and 14 bishops from Japan including Bishop Augustine Nomura Junichi, President of the CBCJ, and Archbishop Peter Takeo Okata of Tokyo.
* Major Superiors of Men's Religious Institutes Agree to Promote Overseas Mission
The Korean Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life held 2-day General Assembly from November 11, 2003 at the Brothers of Peace Pentecost in Yeoju, Kyonggi-do and elected Rev. Paul Oh, O.F.M. to the president and introduced the full-time secretariat system.
During the Assembly the major superiors discussed the question of overseas mission and agreed to promote it by diverse ways of education to strengthen mission consciousness of the faithful, extension of Mission Sunday celebration and development of the program of pilgrimage of mission countries and so on.
The participants called for generous collaboration of the religious institutes with possibility of foreign languages in helping migrants workers' Christian life by celebrating Sunday Mass in their languages.
For the question of opening a joint seminary for religious formation the participants agreed on the need, however, for the question of its realization they had different opinions. It was decided to discuss it further in next meeting.
Most Rev. Joseph Lee Han-taek, who is in charge of religious institutes of the Archdiocese of Seoul, said to the participants, "The Holy See hopes that the Church in Korea takes into consideration Asia, China and Africa in her missionary perspective," and asked them to reflect if it is appropriate for a religious to be involved in social and political affairs, noting the concern of the Holy See about certain priests' political involvement.
The Most Rev. Giovanni Battista Morandini, Apostolic Nuncio to Korea, encouraged the new Presidents to be faithful to fulfill the mission God entrusted to them,