CBCK News


Communications on Apr. 4, 2002

2009.08.24 12:11


* Amnesty International Korea Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Establishment

Amnesty International Korea Section(chairperson: Rev. Herbert Wottawah, O.S.B.) looked back upon thirty years of commitment to being 'candles surrounded by wire entanglements'.
As shown in its history marked with forced closing of offices and suspension of work, the way AI Korea Section has walked is full of ordeals. Despite its tribulations, however, the dedication to 'human rights' of suffering neighbors was like the unextinguished candles.
On March 28, AI Korea celebrated the 30th anniversary of establishment at Seoul Press Center, downtown Seoul, and pledged to take a new step toward building 'human world'.
Recalling last 30 years of AI Korea, Rev. Herbert Wottawah said, "We AI members have stood the side of people persecuted for their conviction, color, sex, race, religion and language, prisoners of conscience, refugees, homeless children, the unemployed, and illegal foreign workers. Under the principles of nonviolence and the independence of both government and political parties, AI Korea will ceaselessly take substantial and effective initiatives according to our conscience."
AI Korea Section, established on March 28, 1972, is composed of 40 local groups and 2,600 members and has under its wing executive committee, working committee, journalists' committee, National Assembly members' group and lawyers' committee.
In the meantime, to make known the importance of human rights, the universal value of humanity, AI Korea Section is holding tour exhibitions of world human rights posters in big cities of Korea.

* St. Mary's Hospital to Introduce Comprehensive Geriatric Program

"As our society become aged, specialized medical clinics for geriatric diseases should be established since the elderly require services for physical and mental health and their well-being", said Dr. Choi Eun-bok of the Clinic for the Aged, at Cheongju St. Mary's Hospital(Director: Rev. Simon Kim Hong-ryeol).
This special clinic for the aged, the only one in Chungcheong Province and not common in Korea, opened in May, 2001 to cure the diseases of the old and improve their living standard responding to the trend of aged society.
It offers the old comprehensive medical services for various clinical diseases, infirmities of ages, and mental problems in cooperation with other fields such as home care, hospice, rehabilitation medicine, physical therapy and psychiatry. In particular, it concentrates on providing information for preventing common geriatric diseases such as senile dementia, cerebral apoplexy, and senile osteoporosis and tries to relieve their ailments and pain through sufficient consultation with family members.
Unlike other departments where doctors see 80-90 patients a day, the doctors here see only 30-40 patients, which shows well how carefully and sincerely they examine and consult old patients.
In addition to the integrated medical services taking account of the patients' physical, mental and circumstantial aspects, this clinic also takes care of poor and solitary old people by appropriating welfare fund of the hospital to their treatment or connecting them with social welfare centers. Moreover, it tends to the dying with hospice services and provides continuous health care for the old who cannot move by themselves with the help of home care department.
"I think it is the very spirit of the Catholicism to help the weakest and the needy in our society. This clinic, I hope, may develop as a specialized clinic for the old providing both medical services and social welfare benefit," Dr. Choi said.

* Retiring Bishop Asks the Faithful to Have Special Concern for Marginalized People

The Most Rev. William John McNaughton(76) who served for over 40 years as Bishop of Diocese of Inchon retires from his episcopal see as of April 25 and the Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san, Coadjutor Bishop of Inchon, will succeed him.
"My missionary life in Korea was a divine providence and over 40 years of my life with and for Korean people as servant of God was really a great grace for me. As I return to my home country my heart is full of thanks for clergy, religious and the faithful who assisted my pastoral work all along. Especially, I won't forget their assistance for the establishment of the Catholic University of Inchon and for the diocesan Synod as well. My Coadjutor Bishop was appointed two years ago. So I could work with him since then. That makes my transition much easier in many aspects for myself and for the Diocese and for him. I will remember the great sense of solidarity and fraternity of the faithful for labor world and zeal for democratization," he said in an interview with the Catholic Times.
To the request to give some advise for the Diocese of Inchon, he said, "I see that the priests, in general, are too much preoccupied for activity. I mean, too much activism. When we are overwhelmed by activities we tend to neglect prayer life. This is my concern for the clergy. My wish for clergy is to see they give priority to prayer life than activities. They can ask lay people to do what is not of their proper mission. Priests should be men of prayer. For priests, the spiritual life precedes all other activities."”
For his love for Korean people the City of Inchon offered him in 1965 the honorary citizenship of the City of Inchon.
"When I came to Korea first I found the gesture of people very beautiful and respectful offering things with two hands. That impressed me. Generosity of Korean people goes with their beautiful heart," he said.
After his retirement he plans to return to the diocese of Boston, his home town, and help parish work.
"My last recommendation is to pay attention for marginalized people and those Christians who stopped coming to Church.” he said.


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