Message for the 94th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2008
The Most Rev. Vincent Ri Pyung-ho, Bishop of Jeonju and President of the Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants of the CBCK, issued the Message for the 94th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on April 27, 2008.
In his message entitled "A New World, A New Mankind", Bishop Ri said that the difficulties of the young migrants in Korea stemmed most of all from the reality of "dual belonging," which demanded them to preserve the tradition and culture of their origin, as well as to learn new tradition and culture of Korea. That is why "the dual belonging might be a great challenge for them."
Bishop Ri also pointed out that the problem of "dual belonging" was to be felt not only exclusively by the young migrants, but by the Korean students who studied abroad. He said, "we recognize keenly the dual belonging as our very own problem," especially because the number of Korean students studying abroad in advanced countries ranks top of the world.
Bishop Ri said, "We are confused and sometimes at a loss before the change of such kind taking tide of globalization with great influence upon Korea which had almost no or exceptional experiences of foreign trade for a long time before, but it may be proved as a change towards the world, which the Creator wills, if we see it in His far-sighted view." Then he continued, "All mankind are brothers and sisters before the Creator, and the whole world is a common property, with which the mankind is mandated to live well together. This is one of the important elements of our faith. And such a faith should not just stay in our mind but to be accepted and practiced in real life."
At conclusion, Bishop Ri said, "We can be the initiators of a new world where this planet earth can be a small village, in which the new mankind lives together as a family, if we, as the faithful who believe in God the Creator as the Father of all mankind, accept all people as our brothers and sisters regardless of the cultural and racial differences, practicing our faith in real life."
Research Report on the Lay Faithful in Korea
The Social Apostolate Institute of the Lay Apostolate Council of Korea submitted the Research Report on the Lay Faithful in Korea to the general assembly of the Committee for the Lay Apostolate of the CBCK, which was held at the Jeonjinsang Center of the Association Fraternelle Internationelle on April 18, 2008.
At the meeting, the Most Rev. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, President of the Committee, gave his gratitude to the researchers saying, "a lot of people have spared no effort for a long time to finish this great work." Then he also expressed his hope that this report could be the foundation for the development of the lay faithful formation in Korea. On this occasion, he also conferred the letter of appointment upon the new members of the Committee.
The report was written on the basis of the analysis of the status quo of the formation of parishes and devotional groups and the nation-wide opinion survey conducted to the 3,100 lay faithful.
The report said that the faithful learned the teaching of the Church mostly from the homily of the priests at the Sunday Mass. Many lay faithful also said that they wanted to have a chance of education for a mature faith life, but could not take part in such education mostly because of the lack of time. They demanded more chances for various education related to the everyday life and cultural issues, besides faith formation.
According to the report, the important problems of the laity formation are: lack of diverse formation programs; non-systematical formation programs; lack of the concrete and consistent goal and plan. To solve such problems there must be a so-called "Educational Manual," which can be a guide for both the lay faithful and educators.
At conclusion, the report proposed following measures: to provide various educational contents and to develop systematical educational programs; to improve the teaching method and efficiency; to keep a written report on the practicing educational program, including the information of its contents, goal, effect, and participants.
Catholic Women's Resolution for Life
The Catholic Women's Organization of Korea (CWOK) held an ordinary meeting at the Shrine of Baeron in Jecheon from April 16 to 18, 2008. At the meeting the members adopted a resolution opposing the culture of anti-life and agreed upon to exert more effort for pro-life movement.
The presidents of 54 Catholic women's organizations of 9 dioceses pledged to: oppose the so-called "new bioethics law" of the government; invigorate the education for life; initiate the "Care Movement." Ms. Kwon Kyung-soo, President of the CWOK, said, "Recent serial sexual crimes against women and children showed the seriousness of the trend of contempt for life in our society. ...... Let's eradicate the culture of anti-life with concentrated female talents given by God."
The CWOK decided to start a movement to protest the so-called "revised law on the bioethics and safety of life" legalizing de facto transaction of human ova, in solidarity with the Committee for Life of the Seoul Archdiocese, which initiated a campaign for culture of life. The CWOK also planned to start mid and long term sex education as well as education for life, in cooperation with the professional organizations. It will also try to arrange financial resources for the establishment of care centers for unmarried mothers and the nurseries for working mothers.