CBCK News


Communication on December 17

2009.08.25 14:13


* "Center for the Reconciliation of Korean People" to Be Established

The Committee for the Reconciliation of Korean People of the Archdiocese of Seoul held a press conference on December 10, 2004 and made public a plan to set up the Center for the Reconciliation of Korean People (tentative name), which has been a long-awaited project since the efforts for the reconciliation of Korean people concretely started in 1985 with the establishment of the Committee for the Mission to North Korea.

The center, to be constructed in the area of the Unification Park in Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, will be composed of a formation center for North Korean escapees, an education center for citizens and an institute for the restoration of the Church in North Korea. In the premises, a "church of penance and atonement" also will be established, modeled after La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre in France.

The Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul and President of the Committee, said at the press conference, "The establishment of such a center is the choice of the Church inspired by the signs of the time," and called on the faithful for concern and participation.

Bishop Kim added that "the desire and will of the faithful which was confirmed in the Archdiocesan synod gave a strong impetus to this project" and stressed the importance of this project, saying, "The faithful should assume a new responsibility because the reality of the national division is being aggravated and the wounds of people are becoming deeper and deeper."

This initiative is expected to open a new horizon in the efforts for unity and reconciliation of the two Koreas and to influence on other dioceses' activities as well.

* Society for Religions and Communications Formed

The CBCK Committee for Social Communications and the Korean Society for Journalism and Communication Studies jointly formed the Society for Religions and Communication on December 10, 2004.

Composed of some 50 journalism researchers regardless of religion, this Society will conduct research on the media and religions, the interreligious communication, and the mission and communication. The members elected the Rev. Ignatius Kim Min-su (Secretary of the CBCK Committee for Social Communications) as its first President.

Fr. Kim said, "The communication is so fundamental in every religion and the mission of Church itself is also carried out through communications. Therefore, it is no wonder that journalists are so interested in this field." He also pointed out the study of religions and the media is still in beginning stage in Korea, compared to the West.

Prof. Lee Chang-geun of Kwangwoon University said, "Even though we have not yet decided in detail the areas and challenges to study, we will try to cover wide range of subjects, including the peaceful coexistence of religions in the perspectives of the communications."

Prior to the lunching ceremony, a seminar was prepared with the theme "Challenges in the Field of Religions and Communications," in which participants looked for the directions for the Society to advance.

At the seminar, several things were emphasized: the need for the Church to recognize the media's contribution to the mission of the Church and to take good advantage of the media; countermeasures against the bad effect of the media and methods for restoring its inherent functions; theological analysis and interpretation on the media; cultural mission and the media education in the Church.

* "Young Priests" Make Commitment to Priestly Ministry and Evangelization

From December 7 to 9, 2004, about 140 "young" priests in the Archdiocese of Seoul who were ordained after 1996 had a workshop, which became a good opportunity to present creative opinions, reaffirm solidarity among them and make commitment anew to priestly ministry and evangelization.

During the workshop, the participants discussed the question of prolonged period of parochial vicariate, which is a complicated problem "resulted from the diocesan structure and which also involves the identity of priests and the relationship of pastors and parochial vicars." Thus, they called for systematic devices to improve the relationship between pastor and parochial vicar, saying that they should have a pastoral collaboration, not a vertical relation. They also requested ongoing education system for parochial vicars and support for the activation of special pastoral ministry.

To examine the questions discussed at the workshop and share updated information, the priests suggested to hold such a workshop on a regular basis and to establish an organization to deal with things related to diocesan priests.

The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, promised to accept the suggestions positively and to listen to the voice of young priests as often as possible. He also revealed that the practical tasks suggested in the Archdiocesan synod and the proposals of priests will be implemented each by each in the coming days.

Archbishop Cheong also asked the priests to be prepared for the time when North Korea opens its door so that they can deliver the Gospel of Jesus Christ to North Korean brethren.

The Rev. John Cheon Man-seong, vice pastor of Hyehwa parish who led the workshop preparation, said, "The workshop was a place where priests could discuss their identity and the directions of the diocesan development based on the common understanding of difficult reality." He also hoped this kind of workshop to continue in the future as a dynamic force for the life of priests.

* Be True Friends of the Poor," Focolare in Korea Marks the 35th Anniversary

The Focolare in Korea celebrated its 35th anniversary on December 12, 2004 and reaffirmed its mission, that is, to evangelize the world through "unity."

Some 1,000 participants of the celebrations included His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, the Most Rev. Emil Paul Tscherrig, Apostolic Nuncio to Korea, the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, the Most Rev. John Choi Young-soo, the Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, and leaders of other religions, legislators and other Focolare members.

Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig said, "The Focolare spirituality of unity should be delivered to churches, schools and work places in modern society where anti-evangelical culture prevails."

Cardinal Kim said in his homily, "We should deeply thank God for his love, for sending the Only Son to the world," and asked the members to be true friends of the poor, following the examples of God's love.

Founded by Chiara Lubich in Italy, the Focolare has 5,000,000 members in 182 countries and 20,000 active members in Korea.


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