CBCK News


Communication on July 22, 2005

2009.08.27 10:25


* 66% of Catholic Netizens Oppose Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Catholic netizens, Catholics who frequent the Internet, showed their opposition to the embryonic stem cell research. 66% of the Catholic netizens answered negatively to the question "Do you agree to the embryonic stem cell research of Dr. Hwang Woo-seok?" This was one of the questions asked by the first joint opinion poll of Catholic Times, a Korean Catholic newspaper, and Goodnews, a Catholic Internet portal site. The theme of this poll was "What do you think about the embryonic stem cell research?"

This result is somewhat surprising because recently many Koreans have shown their consent to Dr. Hwang. For example, many Protestants in Korea agreed to Dr. Hwang's research as shown by the recent opinion poll of Christian Today, a Korean Protestant newspaper. 61% of the respondents from 5 large Protestant churches in Seoul said yes to the research of Dr. Hwang. Only 21% showed their opposition.

According to another opinion poll by Scinews Review, a science magazine recently founded by the Science Reporter Association, 55% of the respondents agreed to more extensive embryonic stem cell research.

But as a matter of fact, before the publication of Dr. Hwang's research in recent months, the majority of Koreans opposed the embryonic stem cell research.

By the opinion poll of Daum, one of the biggest Korean Internet portal site, 58% of the respondents opposed the human embryonic cloning. In December, 2003, 6 out of 8 responding members of the Health and Welfare Committee of the National Assembly of Korea expressed also their dissent to the human embryonic cloning.

This shows that the public opinion changes easily according to the superficial reports of the mass media about Dr. Hwang's research. That is why we need more precise opinion poll to find out the real opinion of the faithful.

*  Lay Opinion Positive To The Small Christian Community

Many facilitators of lay community in each Parish in Seoul understand quite well what the Small Christian Community(SCC) is, according to the recent research of Seoul Archdiocesan Research Center for Integral Pastoral Ministry(SARCIPM). 87.3% of all lay facilitators(16,557 as of 2004) were asked about their situation and opinion of their faith life. This research was the first project of the SARCIPM since its foundation on December 3, 2004.

64.4% of the respondents said that "The SCC is necessary and must be improved further." And 31.4% of them said that the most needed measure for the SCC is "the evangelical formation for all the laity." 47.9% of them also said that they tried to keep the Gospel with their life through the SCC.

By the way, 95.5% of the responding facilitators attend the Sunday Mass regularly, which surpass the average attendance rate of 42.9% of the whole laity. According to the research results, the longer they are active as a facilitator, the better they can practice their faith and spirituality.

But the Rev. Bartholomew Jun Won, director of the SARCIPM, said that "There is a matter of grave concern because the results show that the average participation rate and meeting frequency of the lay facilitators are worse than those of the results of research in 1994. And it might reflects the overall low vitality of the SCC." And he added, "I hope this research could provide priests and the laity with a chance to examine and discuss about the problem of SCC at the level of Parish."

*  Publication Plan of "Correct Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary"

The Committee for the Doctrine of Faith of Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea(CBCK) decided to publish a book entitled "Correct Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary" to promote the correct devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary after the meeting from July 12 to 13, 2005 at the conference room of the CBCK.

The book will comprise of five chapters: "The History of the Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary", "The Doctrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary", "Prayers and Feasts Manifesting the Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary", "Wrong Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary", and "Correct Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary".

It will be clearly confirmed that the Church firmly disapproves the wrong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary like the incidents of alleged "Mrs. Theresia of Sanju", "Mrs. Julia of Naju" and "Our lady at Bayside," not to mention the so-called '"Anti-Marianism". And it will also advice the laity to respect and practice actively the church tradition of the Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

By the way, the Committee for the Doctrine of Faith decided to propose CBCK and its members to appoint standing inspector to examine the Church mass media, and furthermore to allow only those priests and religious, who have acquired the permission of the Ordinary of the region according to the Code of Canon Law and the Code of the Korean Church Laws, to appear on TV or radio and contribute to the secular press, after the joint meeting of Diocesan Book Censors.

This decision was made because there were indications that some priests and religious suggested their opinions in Church and secular mass media which opposed Catholic teaching and ethics and eventually could mislead the multitudes with wrong information and teaching.

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