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Communications on Jun. 29, 2001

2009.08.24 11:02

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◎ Korean Catholics Reaches 8.83 Percent of Korean Population

According to the 2000 Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea published recently by the CBCK the total number of Korean Catholics as of December 31, 2000 reached 4,071,560, or 8.83 percent of the Korean population (46,125,376) with an increase of 124,712 from 1999 to 2000, or 3.2 percent. This rate of increase is the lowest one since 1974. The number of the new Catholics reached 172,425 with a decrease of 5.9 percent compared to 182,425 in 1999. The rate of Catholics who attend Sunday Mass shows only 29 percent of total number of Catholics while those who stopped religious practice grew to 33.41 percent of the total number of Korean Catholics with an increase of 1.75 percent compared to 1999.
The statistic figure shows: 1 Cardinal, 4 archbishops, 20 bishops (including 2 foreign bishops), 3,116 priests with an increase of 5.6 percent (2,952 in 1999), 1,595 seminarians from seven major seminaries, 1,249 men religious with an increase of 6.3 percent (1,170 in 1999), 8,752 women religious with an increase of 2.4 percent (8,551 in 1999), 1,682,100 male faithful, 2,444,490 female faithful, 118,235 Korean Catholics in abroad, 414 Korean missionaries in abroad, 65 Catholic-run middle and high schools, 10 Catholic-run universities, 20 general hospitals, 1,228 parishes, 1,112 secondary stations.


◎ Face of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon Restructured

The face of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, the first Korean Catholic priest who died a martyr, was anatomically reconstructed and presented to the public on June 22 at the Myongdong Cathedral.
The reconstruction work, which took 20 months to complete, was undertaken by the Faculty of Anatomy at the College of Medicine of Catholic University by the request of Rev. Baek Nam-yong, the head priest of Myongdong Cathedral. In the realization of restoration of the face of the Saint participated the College of Medicine of Keunguk University, the Dental College of Yeunsae University and the KAIST etc.
After conducting a scientific analysis of bone fragments from the martyr's face, the restoration team first made a bone structure, then spread clay over it, which they eventually bronzed.
The restructured face of the Saint will be displayed at the Myongdong Cathedral.
St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon born in 1821 in Solmoe, Chungchong Province and ordained a priest by Bishop Ferreol on August 17, 1845 died a martyr in September 16, 1846 in Saenamto by the Han River, Seoul, where three French missionaries had been martyred before him. His father and paternal great-grandfather also died martyrs.
He was canonized on May 6, 1984 at Yoido, Seoul, by Pope John Paul II.


◎ Cardinal Kim Attains 50th Anniversary of Ordination and 80th Birthday

On June 27, a party in honor of the publication of the complete collection of H.E. Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan's sermons and writings took place at the auditorium in the Sungshin campus of Catholic University of Seoul in Hyehwa-dong, downtown Seoul. The event was also for his 80th birthday (June 28) and the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood (Sep. 15). Around 700 Catholics and public figures from various circles attended the event.
After the congratulatory Mass the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong, Archbishop of Seoul and the Most Rev. Giovanni Battista Morandini, Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, each gave a congratulatory speech, to which the Cardinal Kim gave a reply address.
Cardinal Kim thanked God for guiding him to the priesthood and said that he felt as though he had been a prodigal son begging God's mercy for his 50 years' life as a priest.
"Though I do not know how long I will live, I would spend the rest of my days living for God's glory." he said.
The Cardinal Kim was ordained to a priest in 1951 and became a cardinal, in 1969 as young bishop.
The collection is composed of 18 books containing around 2,500 works of his sermons, writings and speeches given since his ordination.
"We can say that Cardinal Kim's life itself is the contemporary history of Korea and the history of the Church in Korea. In this collections we find his constant search for the truth and wisdom, interior reflections, integrity, love for the poor, respect for dignity of human person, and warm kindness towards neighbors. In his words of a pastor we will find light and consolation of true wisdom," the comment of the collection read.
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