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Communication on January 7, 2005

2009.08.25 14:14

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* Quake-Tsunami Relief Is Underway in the Catholic Church in Korea

For the victims of South Asian earthquake and tsunami, the Catholic Church in Korea is coordinating her relief efforts from the national level down to the individual level.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (President: Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju) sent on December 28, 2004 $50,000 to worst-hit countries, such as India, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and The One Body One Heart Movement also sent on the same day $30,000 to Sri Lanka and continues to raise contributions. In particular, the Movement sent its staff members to Colombo, Sri Lanka to look into the situation and is planning to send a medical team to the afflicted area around January 19, 2005. The Committee for "Caritas Coreana" (President: Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Coadjutor Bishop of Daejeon) is also raising donations, in which many religious and lay Catholics are actively participating.

Relief efforts are also being made on the diocesan or parochial level. The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, issued on December 28, 2004 a special message appealing positive support for the victims and commanded parishes to make an additional offering during the Sunday Mass on January 2, 2005. Other dioceses, including Pusan, Cheongju, Uijongbu, Kwangju, Suwon, and the Military Ordinariate, also made or plan to make a second offering. The Dioceses of Incheon and Wonju are raising contributions on the level of parish. On December 30, 2004, the Archdiocese of Daegu delivered $10,000 to the CBCK Committee for "Caritas Coreana."

The Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, President of the CBCK, sent a letter of consolation to the Episcopal Conferences of Thailand, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, expressing deep sorrow and sympathy and promising his prayer for the victims and the bereaved.

He said in the letter addressed to the Presidents of Episcopal conferences, "Deeply saddened by the news of the great loss of life and serious injuries caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Southeast Asia, we express heartfelt sympathy to Your Eminence and all the afflicted. We join Your concerns of this tragedy, and we command all the victims, homeless and all those who lost their loving ones to the caring hands of Merciful God and intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We pray Almighty God to grant Your people an abundant grace of consolation, courage and strength to overcome the tragic situation. Again, we assure Your Eminence our sincere prayers and concerns."

* Religions United in Social Welfare Sector with "Charity and Mercy"

The Conference of Religious Social Welfare Agencies was founded on December 29, 2004 as a corporation to mobilize the resources of religions and to represent the position of religious circles in the social welfare sector.

At the inauguration meeting, Mr. Jeong In-deok, a Won Buddhist minister, was elected as the first president and the Rev. Joseph Kim Yong-tae, Chairman of the Caritas Seoul, was elected as vice president.

The Conference, composed of eleven religious bodies from the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, the Methodist Church, the Chentae Buddhist Order, the Anglican Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Won Buddhism and the Jingak Buddhist Order, will promote diverse activities, including collaboration among religions in social welfare area, academic work, cooperation with public social agencies, study and publication and public relations.

This year, the Conference will arrange a workshop of working personnel in April and hold social policy conferences in May and September and meetings with the Minister of Health and Welfare four times in order to discuss pending issues of the social welfare area.

* Obituary Notice

The Most Rev. Gabriel Lee Gap-soo, Emeritus Bishop of Pusan, passed away on December 21, 2004 at the age of 80. The funeral Mass was offered on December 23, 2004 at the Namcheon Cathedral of Pusan with the concelebration of bishops in Korea. Born in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsang-do in 1924, the late Bishop was ordained a priest in 1950 and appointed as the second Bishop of Pusan in 1975. He retired from the see of Pusan in 1999.


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