CBCK News


Communications on Sept. 7, 2001

2009.08.24 11:09


* Vigil of Korean Martyrs Celebrated

The first day of the month for Korean martyrs, Sep. 1st of 2001, the Myeondong Cathedral (Rev. Baek Nam-yong) celebrated Vigil of Korean Martyrs in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Shinyu Persecution and the 100th anniversary of the enshrinement of relics of the missionary martyrs in the crypt of the Cathedral.

Around 2,000 people participated to the eventful celebration of the Vigil and praised their faith ancestors and reconfirmed their faith in God in an ardent devotion.

The Vigil opened with the chorus by the Catholic Choir and the associated choir of the Myeongdong Cathedral and followed by diverse programs including historical play about martyrs and concelebration of Mass for the honor of martyrs by the clergy of the Seoul Archdiocese.

The historical play about martyrs prepared by the Catholic Artists Association of Korea under theme 'Blood Changed to White Flower' vividly described the heroic life and the scenery of execution of the two famous woman martyrs of the Shinyu Persecution; Kang Wan-suk (Columba) and Moon Yeoung-in (Viviana, virgin). The play was presented outdoor of the Cathedral and deeply impressed the participants and passersby.

A solemn procession with incense was made to the main altar of the Cathedral starting from the crypt where the relics of the French missionary martyr Saints including Bishop Laurent Marie Joseph Imbert (1796-1839) and Fr. Pierre Philibert Maubant(1803-1839) and Fr. Jacques Honore Chastan(1803-1839) from Byeong-in Persecutions are enshrined.

Rev. Baek Nam-yong, the parish priest of the Cathedral, in his homily, encouraged the faithful to live out the spirit of the martyrs where they are placed.

The first persecution of Korean Christians began in 1785, about one year after the Catholic Church was established in Korea and it was followed by persecutions in 1791, 1801, 1839, 1846 and 1866 until the freedom of religion was granted in 1886 with the contract of the Treaty of Commerce and Amity with France. During the Shinyu Persecution of 1801 some 300 faithful were killed or exiled.

The Catholic Church in Korea that celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Shinyu Persecution is working for the beatification and canonization of her martyrs and Confessors. Pope John Paul II canonized 103 Korean martyrs on May 6th, 1984, at Yeouido, Seoul.

* The Life Ethics Bill against Human Cloning Urgently Needed in Korea

In these days, while controversial question of human cloning has become a international and domestic hot issue, the Korean society was shocked by an article in a Daily Newspaper which reported about a secret development and attempt of human cloning in Korea.

More shocking is that the project of human cloning is motivated by Raelian Movement, a newly risen religion which claims that the world was created by extraterrestres.

According to the report, a woman from Seoul who became sterile in 1999 after an abortion, asked a biotechnology venture company the cloning of her husband. And the company team took the lutein cell of her husband and entered cloning process.

On the other hand, it is known that a number of sterile spouses frequent the infertility surgery clinics to consult about human cloning.

Such information indicates that the time has come to enact law to control the human cloning. The Life Ethics Bill prepared by the Korean Bioethics Advisory Commission still has not passed because of opposition of the biotechnology world and business-related people.

Kim Young-hwan, Minister of the Science and Technology said he would present a Bill with strict ban of individual human cloning and conditional allowance of stem cell research by using frozen superplus embryo only to the National Assembly Session in March, 2001.

The Raelian Movement is condemned by 48 religious bodies in Korea as an immoral sect. Rael, the founder of the sect, claims that the world was created by an extraterrestre and human can get an everlasting life by human cloning.

Rael held an open press conference on the matter on Aug. 28 at Shilla Hotel.
It is known that some 1500 Korean members are in activity and they have annual event.

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