The 18th Korean-Japanese Bishops’ Exchange Meeting
The 18th Korean-Japanese Bishops’ Exchange Meeting was held with the theme of “Nuclear Power Phase-out” in Gyeongju City of the Daegu Archdiocese in Korea, from November 13 to 15, 2012.
Along with the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, President of the CBCK and Bishop of Cheju, and the Most Rev. Leo Jun Ikenaga, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ) and Archbishop of Osaka, about 40 bishops and priests participated in this meeting.
On the first day, Rev. Thomas Seigel Michael (Nanzan University Institute for Social Ethics) gave a lecture on “Theological Consideration concerning the Nuclear Power Plants.” He said that we need to develop projects of sustainable energy such as wind and solar energy so as to reduce our dependence on nuclear energy.
Rev. Paul Park Hong-pyo (priest of the Diocese of Wonju and representative of the Committee against the Construction of Samcheok Nuclear Power Plant) highlighted that residents want to live in a clean and peaceful environment and thus the nuclear power phase-out is a matter of life itself, not just of politics.
On October 14, the bishops visited Wolsung Nuclear Power Plant in Gyeongju and heard an explanation about the operation and management state of the nuclear power plant. Following the visit, the bishops celebrated Mass at the Yangnam Church. In his homily, the Most Rev. Thaddeus Cho Hwan-kil, Archbishop of Daegu, said that we should strive for nuclear power phase-out in order to safeguard the integrity of creation and the peaceful life of the earth which God has given to mankind.
On the last day, the bishops had time to discuss the themes on nuclear power phase-out in group and then in plenary session.
The next meeting is scheduled for November 12 to 14, 2013, in Japan.