On-sight Exposure Programs for Bishops
The CBCK prepared exposure programs for bishops in the context of renewal of the Church, jointly proposed by the CBCK Committee for Evangelization, Caritas Committee, and the Committee for Justice & Peace. The programs are meant to help the bishops undergo on-sight exposure in the context of deepening the discussed matters in relation to the lecture with the theme, “Secularization and Renewal of the Church” given in Jeju Island on June 12, 2013.
In all 19 bishops participated in the on-sight programs. These included a visit to “Flower Town of St. Mary”, a free hospice center for terminal cancer patients; a visit to Daebangdong parish, an example of the Small Christian Communities (SCCs); and a visit to Saemangeum, the site of the longest sea-embankment in the world which has created social conflicts.
5 bishops visited “Flower Town of St. Mary” on May 29, 2014. They were Most Rev. Thaddeus Cho Hwan-kil, Archbishop of Daegu, Most Rev. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun, Bishop of Cheongju, Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san, Bishop of Incheon, Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, Bishop of Chunchon, and Most Rev. Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il, O.F.M., Bishop of Military Ordinariate.
The bishops met with the patients and served a meal. They also helped the patients in many ways: washing their hair and feet, taking a walk with them, and making bed for them. Since its establishment in December, 1999, the hospice center has been managed by the Diocese of Cheongju to accompany the terminal cancer patients until their last moment of life, alleviating their pain and symptoms as well as helping them overcome the fear of death.
4 bishops visited Daebangdong parish from June 11 to 12, 2014. They were Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, Bishop of Cheju, Most Rev. Peter Lee Ki-heon, Bishop of Uijeongbu, Most Rev. Basil Cho Kyu-man, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul, and Most Rev. Peter Chung Soon-taek, O.C.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul.
The bishops had an opportunity for an on-site exposure at the Daebangdong parish where they could see an example of ‘communion and evangelization centering around the Lord’s words through integral pastoral ministry.’ They listened to a presentation on the parish’s activities and paid a visit to several small groups, so-called ‘Place of the Word’ of the Daebangdong parish, which are types of SCCs.
10 bishops visited the site of Saemangeum on June 12, 2014. They were Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, Archbishop of Gwangju, Most Rev. Jacobus Kim Ji-seok, Bishop of Wonju, Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Bishop of Daejeon, Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon, Bishop of Suwon, Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo, Auxiliary Bishop of Daejeon, Most Rev. John Baptist Jung Shin-chul, Auxiliary Bishop of Incheon, Most Rev. Linus Lee Seong-hyo, Auxiliary Bishop of Suwon, Most Rev. Simon Ok Hyun-jin, Auxiliary Bishop of Gwangju, Most Rev. Timothy Yu Gyoung Chon, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul, and Rt. Rev. Abbot Blasio Park Hyun-dong, O.S.B., Apostolic Administrator of Territorial Abbacy of Tokwon.
The bishops listened to the opinions of the experts as well as the villagers around Saemangeum. Then, they had a time to reflect upon the role of the Church in addressing the challenge of exploitation and destruction of nature through reckless projects of large-scale construction. They also walked on the mud flats to check the quality of the water inside the Saemangeum embankment.
The government carried out the Saemangeum project despite the protest of many civil activists and experts. The project has resulted in the destruction of the environment and the local economy near the Saemangeum site.