CBCK News


Communications on Aug. 31, 2001

2009.08.24 11:09


* Waegwan Abbey of Order of St. Benedict Welcomed New Abbas

On Aug. 23, Rev. Samuel Peter Lee Hyeong-wu was elected to the fourth Abbas of the Waegwan Abbey of Order of St. Benedict.
The 99 monks of Waegwan Abbey possessing a right to vote had 2-day meeting from Aug. 22 to 23 and elected Rev. Lee Hyeong-wu to the Abbas in a secrete ballot. With his election the Waegwan Abbey put an an end to 6-year vacancy of the Abbas that lasted since 1995 with the resignation of Rt. Rev. Lee Deok-geun, the third Abbas. The vote was presided over by Rev. Jeremiah Schroeder, General Abbas of the Federation of Othilian Benedictins. The blessing ceremony of the new Abbas is scheduled for Sep. 11 at the Waegwan Abbey.
"I don't deserve to be called as Abbas, however, in trusting in God's guidance, I accept the position of Abbas with pleasure and I promise to do my best to make our monastery a religious community that the Church in Korea needs. I will try to fulfill my duty of Abbas in deep unity and close collaboration with all Brothers.", the new Abbas said.

The newly elected Abbas Lee Hyeong-wu was born in 1946 in Hwanghaedo, North Korea and entered to the Monastery in 1965. He made the final profession in 1974 and went to Rome for study. He obtained the doctorate in Church Fathers at Instituto Patristico “Augustinianum” in Rome.

"From 1909 to the Korean War the Benedictin Brothers worked for the mission in North Korea. Mission to North Korea was entrusted to us by Rome and this is still in force. In many aspects, we feel to have a duty for the North Korea. For example, several Brothers were killed over there.", said the General Abbas Geremiah Schroeder, and added that "extraordinary vitality and rapid progress of the Church in Korea are great and truly surprising."

As of today, the Waegwan Abbey has 140 monks and of them over 100 monks made their final profession.

* Sex Traffic is against Bible and Christian Moral

While the public disclosure of sex offenders by the Commission on Youth Protection, under the Prime Minister's Office, had triggered a hot controversial debate between supporters and opponents, Mrs. Theodora Lee, Secretary of the Sub-committee for Women of the CBCK defined the basic position of the Sub-committee regarding the government's move to eradicate from the Korean society sex crimes against minors.

"For Catholics, no compromise is allowed with whatever act that affects life and value of human sex for God created humankind in His image, male and female He created them” (Gen. 1,27). Hence, abusing human being is a blasphemy against God and Christian moral. In sex traffic human being is abused and treated as a 'thing'. Human sex is intimately related to human life. Thus, abusing human sex is abusing human life. By sex traffic the true image of humankind is destroyed and violated. Sex traffic is against Bible and Christian moral. Wherefore, we fully support government's move aimed at eradicating sex crimes widespread in our society and protecting juveniles from sex crimes. Strong medicine is needed to heal long-practiced social evil that affects the dignity of human life." Mrs. Theodora Lee said.

In a bid to eradicate sex crimes against minors from the Korean society, the government posted on Aug. 30, the names of 169 sex offenders on the Internet homepage and government bulletin boards nationwide. The record contains offenders' names, ages, dates of birth, addresses, jobs and brief records of the offenses of 163 males and six females convicted of sex crimes against minors. But it didn't put their photographs as some other countries do.

Public disclosure was decided under a law that was passed last year, aimed at protecting juveniles from sex crimes.

Groups for women's right wholeheartedly support the move, while opponents say the identification of the offenders goes against the principle of not punishing a criminal twice for the same crime.
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