* Message Issued for 2007 Day for the Environment
The Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san, President of the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace, issued a message for the Day for the Environment on June 5, 2007 and urged people to pay attention to global warming on the worldwide dimension and to cope with it.
In his message entitled "Prevention of Global Warming and Ecology of Peace," Bishop Choi asked the faithful to renew their awareness on the global warming, saying, "Global warming is a by-product of materialism. Excessive emissions of carbon dioxide not only destroy air environment, but also bring about greenhouse effect which causes the climatic change. Thus if we neglect this phenomenon, the ecological environment of human beings will be thoroughly destroyed."
In addition, Bishop Choi pointed out that "a production system based on the large-scale plunder of ecosystem presupposes a culture of unlimited consumption", and proposed a change of the life style, in which we tend to find our own identity in consumption itself.
In particular, Bishop Choi urged the government and enterprises "to mature the public awareness and improve industrial environment so that the ecosystem can be considered not as the means of development and exploitation, but as a common heritage of the whole creature in respect for the ecosystem and the right to life."
* Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2006 Published
The Catholic Conference of Korea published Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2006 on May 25, 2007. According to the Statistics, about one fourth of Korean Catholics attended Sunday Mass regularly in 2006.
As of December 31, 2006, the number of Catholics amounted to 4,768,242 or 9.6% of the total population. It indicates an increase of 100,764 or 2.2% from the previous year.
Those newly baptized were 147,747, a decrease of 428 or 0.3% from the previous year. Among them 76,734 were men and 71,013 were women. Like the previous year, men outnumbered women in the number of those newly baptized.
The Statistics also categorized the faithful by sex, (male 41.6% and female 58.4%), and by age (52.8% of the faithful were in their 20s to 40s.). With regard to dioceses, the Archdiocese of Seoul has the most number of faithful, followed by the Diocese of Suwon and the Archdiocese of Daegu. The Diocese of Suwon has the highest rate of increase in number of faithful, followed by the Diocese of Wonju.
The number of Sunday Mass attendants decreased to 1,240,974 or 26% of the whole faithful, comparing with 28.1% in 2004 and 26.9% in 2005. The rate of lethargic faithful hit the highest as 36.7%, an increase more than twice within 10 years. It seems necessary that fundamental measures be taken for the re-evangelization of the faithful.
The Statistics also indicated that the number of clergy including bishops was 4,006 (3,276 diocesan priests and 697 religious and missionary priests), an increase of 139 from the previous year. It means the confirmation of the 4.8% annual increase on the average since 1960. However, the number of seminarians was 1,308, a decrease of 7 from the previous year. It has been decreased by 1.6% annually since 2000. It shows an urgent necessity for a new initiative to promote vocations to priesthood.