CBCK News


Communication on May 27, 2005

2009.08.25 16:49


* Press Release: Meeting of Permanent Council of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea on May 17, 2005

The Permanent Council of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea(CBCK) held a meeting on May 17, 2005. The decisions are as follows:

1. The Council approved the message proclaiming the Case of Beatification of 'the Servant of God, Fr. Thomas Choi Yang-eop', submitted by the Special Episcopal Commission to Promote Beatification and Canonization.

2. The Council decided that the Message for Day for Life would be issued by the Bioethics Committee under the Committee for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was hitherto a task of the Committee for Family Pastoral Ministry.

3. The Council decided to publish a booklet based on the research report on the Devotion to St. Mary, submitted by the Committee for the Doctrine of the Faith, to introduce the laity the positive aspects and orientation of the Devotion to St. Mary.

4. The Council decided to inform the laity of the publication plan of the newly translated version of the Bible by the end of May, 2005.

5. The Council reviewed and approved the Message for the 10th Farmers' Sunday submitted by the Committee for Justice & Peace of the Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs according to the decision of the Permanent Council of the CBCK, which entrusted the Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs with the task to issue the message. By the way, as the Message for the Farmers' Sunday was originally to be issued just for ten years, it was concluded that it would be decided by the 2005 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK whether the Message for the 11th Farmers' Sunday in 2006 should be issued.

* The Catholic Church in Korea Denounces the Cloning Breakthrough of Prof. Dr. Hwang

Most Rev. Francis Xavier Ahn Myong-ok, the president of the Bioethics Committee under the Committee for the Doctrine of the Faith of the CBCK, said, "It is very sad to witness the current situation, in which the result-oriented scientific technology is exploiting the human life disregarding moral sense, and the mass media are focusing just on the achievement of Prof. Dr. Hwang Woo-seok with no intention to point out the potential problems." And he added, "In early September, 2005, the Bioethics Committee will hold a symposium concerning the problem of the alleged Bioethics Law, which is now challenged by the constitutional amendment petition, filed by the Bioethics Committee, and we will keep on making an issue of this problem."

Fr. Paul Lee Chang-young, a member of the Bioethics Committee, said, "It is utterly absurd to distinguish the embryonal cloning from the human cloning." And he assured that he would try to protect the embryo together with the faithful of other religions.

Prof. Dr. Maeng Gwang-ho of the Catholic University of Korea said, "They just praise the achievement of Dr. Hwang with no anxious voice about the possibility of human cloning." And he said that it was a problem in the society where many people had interest in the embryonal stem cell research apparently not knowing the necessary time for the clinical application, with no interest in the basic scientific research.

*  "Message for Day for Life" Issued

Most Rev. Francis Xavier Ahn Myong-ok, the president of the Bioethics Committee under the Committee for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued the Message for Day for Life on May 29, 2005.

In the message, he affirmed that the alleged 'quality of life' should not be the criterion of life. He reminded the laity of the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Encyclical Letter "Evangelium Vitae"(1995) and said, "Human life has its own value just because it is of human person, therefore every attempt to measure human beings by the 'quality of life' will eventually cause the degradation of human person into the possessive value."

And further he stressed, "In a society where the controversy about the euthanasia is still actual, what we really need is not a discussion of 'quality of life', but a deep reflection on the true restoration of human conscience."

He expressed his hope that the Gospel of Life would be received by all and asked the laity "to remember how precious and indispensable it is to be a comfort to the sick and the dying, with kind and sincere love ."

* "The 150th Anniversary Conference of the Catholic University of Korea" Held

The "150th Anniversary Conference of the Catholic University of Korea" was held at the Catholic University of Korea from May 18 to 20, 2005.

With the main theme "Life", many scholars from various countries discussed about the matter in five categories, i.e., law, philosophy, bio-technology, medicine and theology.

Fr. Jose Liompart, SJ from Japan said, "The most important element of bioethics is the moral ethos." And he claimed, "There is no justification for the scientific progress to manipulate the human life, as much as freedom and convention cannot justify everything."

Prof. Dr. Robert M. Veatch agreed to this view and said, "Ethics are not a matter of national consensus nor cultural convention."

Many participants expressed their concern about the bio-technology which aims at the embryonal manipulation.

* Sr. Helen Prejean, an Activist for the Abolition of Capital Punishment, Visited Korea

Sr. Helen Prejean, the author of "Dead Man Walking" and a devout activist for the abolition of capital punishment, visited Korea from May 18 to 21, 2005, in response to the invitation of the Committee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment under the Committee for Justice & Peace of CBCK.

She gave lectures on various occasions in Seoul and Daegu. She also met His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan to talk about the matter of capital punishment. And she urged the members of National Assembly to abolish the capital punishment which is illegal already in 120 countries in the world.

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