CBCK News


Communications on Jan. 17, 2003

2009.08.24 13:55


* "I Will Focus on Interreligious Dialogue, Especially with Muslims" -- Says Msgr Tschang

Archbishop Paul Tschang In-nam, the first Korean Apostolic Nuncio, who was ordained an Archbishop by John Paul II on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord on January 6, arrived to Seoul on January 19 for 2-week visit to Korea before heading to Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, where he will take office of Apostolic Nuncio.
In a press conference, Archbishop Tschang expressed first of all his gratitude to Korean Catholics saying "for 18 years I stayed out of Korea I never forget that I'm a son of the Church in Korea and now I feel it stronger as God called me to be representative of the Holy See," and added "this is truly an unusual grace of God to the Church in Korea and a response to our martyr ancestors."
"Catholics in Bangladesh count only 2-300,000 or 0.2 percent of total population of 130,000,000 Bangladesh, and 70 percent of them are Muslims. So, I think my first mission as Apostolic Nuncio in Bangladesh is to promote interreligious dialogue between Catholics, Muslims and Buddhists and to announce this people the Good News of Jesus Christ in the respect of other religions. Also Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world and its people suffer from natural disasters often. So, I want to share true love of Christ through promotion of educational and medical works," he said.
Regarding the position of the Holy See on North Korea's nuke issue the Archbishop Tschang said that "The Holy Father has always emphasized that the arms can't be the solution to dispute and conflict in the world and he is convinced that there is no peace without justice and forgiveness," and went on "thus, the Holy Father wishes to solve the nuke issue by dialogue and realization of justice."

* Song-seo Parish Launches Campaign against Expansion of the U.S. Military Base

The faithful of Song-seo Parish of Diocese of Suwon (Pastor: Rev. John Lee Jeong-hyek) has launched campaign against expansion of the U.S. military base to protect the environment and rights of the inhabitants around the base.
"Campaign to buy one pyeong (a unit of area; 3.954 sq. yds.) means to protect the land and environment by buying by person one pyeong of private farmland around the speculated site of the U.S. military base in Pyeong-taek.
The unanimous opinion of the parishioners is that "Beside a serious destruction of environment that is supposed to occur when the new U.S. air force base of 700,000 pyeong will be constructed by the year of 2011, an enormous damage is expected to the inhabitants' lives."
"This campaign is to protect the security of seventy million Korean people's life and a small act to protect the autonomy and sovereignty of Korean people." said Rev. Lee and appealed for positive participation of all Catholics around Pyeong-taek and across the country.

* "It is Time to Turn Eyes to the Pastoral Care of Foreign Workers in Korea" -- Says the Most Rev. Kang

“I think it is time for the Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants of the CBCK to turn its eyes to the care of the migrants in Korea from the care of overseas Koreans," said the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, President of the Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants of the CBCK.
On the occasion of the 89th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on January 19, he said that the Committee would focus its activities on the solidarity, coordination and cooperation of each diocese for the pastoral care of migrants in Korea.
Noting the difficulties that over 300,000 foreign workers in Korea experience as the most urgent problem in this field, he pointed out the role of the Church saying "on the basis of the Church's view of world and human, the Catholic Church in Korea should make efforts to change the public sentiment regarding the role and identification of foreign workers."
In this regard, he said, "Koreans should recognize that foreign workers are our partners and important basis of Korean economy," and added that the Church would ask the Government for cooperation to root out the discrimination and suppression to foreign workers.
In particular, he stressed the problems of Koreans from China caused by their status as illegal residents and pointed out that human rights of many foreign women who work as barmaids are violated severely.
With regard to the pastoral care of overseas Koreans, he said, "it is the task of the local Church and the Episcopal Conference to take care of the overseas Koreans but when it is not sufficient the Church in Korea may offer necessary help to the local Church."
"Abraham, the ancestor of faith, and his descendent Israelite were itinerants. God was concerned the itinerants and Jesus also taught us to respect and care for the itinerants and migrants. Moreover, all the people are created in the image of God, so all the people have equal dignity and equal rights despite the difference of race, sex, age, origin and social class," he explained the reason why the Church is concerned for the migrants and itinerants.
He also emphasized on the role of the Church for the pastoral care of migrants and promotion of their human dignity and human rights saying "the problem of 150,000,000 immigrant workers in the world has emerged as important element causing conflict and trouble between peoples, thus menacing the world peace.

* Nhong Supatra, First Thai Lay Missionary in Korea Calls for More Concern

On the occasion of the 89th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on January 19, the first Thai lay missionary for Thai workers in Korea called for more concern of Korean Catholics for foreign workers.
"I think my presence in Korea is itself a good sign of hope for Thai workers," said Teresa Nhong Supatra, 29, the first lay missionary dispatched by the Episcopal Conference of Thailand for Thai workers in Korea.
Working as a full-timer at the Committee Labor Pastoral Commission of the Archdiocese of Seoul, she casts hopeful lights to Thai workers most of whom are Buddhists but came to her for help.
Through the three months of experience she could realize how difficult it has been for Thai people to manage lives in Korea. She often had to visit the Embassy to help the immigration process as well as the police stations to cope with the car accidents of Thai workers.
While undergoing these difficulties, however, she was impressed by the enthusiasm and love of the Korean faithful for the faith and Christian life.
So she asked the Korean Catholics to pay more attention to foreign workers, saying, "I hope all people can cooperate to build brighter future as 'brothers and sisters' in God, not 'foreign workers.'"

* "Rebuilding the Culture of Life is Another Way to Proclaim Gospel" -- Says Secretary Generalof the CBCK

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of establishment of the Mother and Child Health Law coming near in February, the voice urging to abolish this law is raised within and outside the Church.
Rev. Casimir Song Yul-sup, Secretary General of the CBCK, the leading figure of the campaign to abolish the law, expressed his opinion on the issue.
"Just to pay attention is not enough. We should commit ourselves to this mission with the conviction that God entrusted it to us," he firmly asserted.
"It seems that people are so accustomed to the way of death that they take the culture of death as something natural though they want the way of life," he pointed out.
Explaining that the core of Gospel is life, he stressed it is necessary to re-establish view of life by approaching the faithful with new prospects.
"Receiving the Eucharist with one hand while paying the doctor for abortion with the other hand is to deny Jesus," he said.
Quoting from Mother Teresa saying "Abortion is no other than to kill Jesus," Rev. Song said, the "the Gospel of Life is closely connected with the Gospel of Love and these are not two other things. Therefore, if the Gospel of Life fades, the Gospel of Love also dilutes."
Defining the source of the current culture of death in the individualism and hedonism to the declined culture of life, Rev. Song said that the life-full society can be realized by building a new culture of life.
"We need new enthusiasm and methods, and new expressions that are proper for the New Evangelization so that it can touch people's mind," he said and added that cultural approach, not the dogmatic approach to which the Church has resorted so far, is required to draw the consensus of people.
“Holy Spirit is the wind. We feel new hope from the wind that blows from the Church."
"Every project has a time limit, but the pro-life campaign has no time limit." Rev. Song stressed one more time.

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