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Communications on Sept. 21, 2001

2009.08.24 11:50

Views:8855

* Reconciliation, Forgiveness and Peace for Humanity

The entire world was horrified by the tragic terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11 which caused the loss of thousands of precious lives. These terrorist attacks should not and cannot be justified by any reason. We condemn it in the name of God. Because all human beings are created in the image of God(cf: Gn 1, 26). Respect for life is a way to live out the love and fear of God "You shall love your neighbor as yourself"(Mt. 19,19).

1. We Condemn Terrorist Attacks in the Name of Humanity
Looking at what happened in New York and Washington on September 11 we were shocked and stunned. For whatever reason, we cannot tolerate these terrorist attacks for it is anti-life, inhuman and against God's providence. Those who are involved in violence should understand clearly that any attempt to realize human goals and ambition at the sacrifice of human lives is wrong against universal value.

2. Time of Self-Reflection
The U.S.A. has to make a self-reflection over what it has shown recently before the international society. It may be evident that the Bush administration itself has brought in international criticisms and provoked anger of Arab countries by its power based domination and unilateral support for Israel in Durban meeting, including its Missile Defense project and withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol. It may be good for the U.S.A. to ask questions if these acts were right and appropriate as a member country of the international society whose dream is a peaceful coexistence. It is opportune time for the U.S.A. to reconsider its stance and role as a world peace maker.

3. The U.S.A. has to Respond to the Tragedy with Prudence and Rationality
President Bush determined the terrorist attacks as an act of war and the Department of State and the Department of Defense declared they would carry out retaliation by total war against the terrorists without any notification. However, the world wishes the U.S.A. not to rely on retaliation and punishment only. On the contrary, we want the U.S.A. to be defender of peace and justice for humanity. If the U.S.A. responds to the incidents by means of war, humanity will face a cruel destination in which people will become enemies to each other. By any reason it should not lead to an even greater calamity like war.

4. It is Time for All to Seek Peaceful Coexistence
Humanity has experienced appalling results of wars in the last century; the First and Second World War. Since then, the international society has made continual efforts to protect life, peace, harmony and human rights. The United Nations was born and the International Declaration of Human Rights was made. However, peace is menaced by terrorist attacks and the imminent retaliation of the U.S.A. We all know and recognize that violence can never be prevented by violence but only provokes more violence. "For all who take the sword will perish by the sword"(Mt 26,52).
We reject and condemn all acts of terrorism and violence which will bring complete destruction of the human race. Power-based peace cannot last long. Christians and Arabs have to make common efforts to build up an environment for peaceful coexistence of humanity by pardon and reconciliation. We urge the U.S.A. to wisely cope with the crisis so as not to lead to an even greater catastrophe and pray that God's wisdom be with America and all global citizens. Again, we express our deepest condolences and sympathy to all victims of "both sides" and the bereaved of them.

September 19, 2001
Fr. Paul Lee Chang-young
Exec. Secretary
Committee for Justice and Peace


* Pentagon Responded to U.S.C.C.B. Regarding Amendment of SOFA in Korea

The U.S. Department of Defense answered Archbishop Bernard Cardinal Law, Chairman of the Committee on International Policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops(USCCB) regarding the amendment of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in Korea for which the CBCK has requested collaboration.

Rev. Msgr William P. Fay, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the U.S.A. forwarded the letter of Frank R. Stone, Director of the Foreign Military Rights Affairs of the U.S. Department of Defense to the Most Rev. Michael Pak, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Korea on August 21.

Saying the SOFA "serves as the starting point for cooperation, not the end", F. R. Stone pointed out that with regard to comparison of the Amendment to the SOFA in other countries, the SOFA in Korea was not considered to be more favorable to the United States than those in other countries, and he went on to say that as a good neighbor, the U.S.A. was consciously aware of its responsibilities to our allies and their citizens while it sought to protect the rights of our service men and women serving overseas, they must also be concerned about providing the operating rights necessary to carry out mutual defense interests of both countries which was the purpose for deployment and stationing of U.S. forces overseas.

In this regard, the Most Rev. Augustine Cheong, President of the Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs decided to prepare comparative documents between the SOFA in Korea and the SOFA of other countries such as the Japanese SOFA and the NATO SOFA in the meeting.


* Korean Catholics Honor Cardinal Kim for his Half Century of Ministry for the Church and Nation

On Sep. 14, in Myeongdong Cathedral, Korean Catholics expressed their heartfelt love and gratitude to His Eminence Cardinal Stephen Kim who celebrated his golden jubilee of ordination to priesthood and 80th birthday for his half century of tireless ministry for the Church, democratization, promotion of human rights and love for the poor.
Among 1,500 participants to the celebration found 15 Bishops, 100 priests, Religious, the lay people and people from all walks of the society.
Rev. Theophilo Choi Song-ryong from the Research Institute for Korean Church History read the congratulatory letter of Pope John Paul II.
The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong, Archbishop of Seoul, in his homily, expressed a special gratitude to the Cardinal.
Cardinal has dedicated 30 years of his 50 years of priestly life as the Archbishop of Seoul Archdiocese during which he made considerable contribution for the progress of the Archdiocese as well as for democratization and promotion of human rights of Korean people.
Cardinal Kim responded to congratulatory addresses by saying that he had no word to say but Lord, had mercy on him, the sinner, and asked the participants to pray for him so that he could dedicate the rest of his life for the Church and people.
In a press interview for the occasion he said that the Church would be renewed only when each of her member was reborn. He pointed out that the culture for life was the most important question we had to be concerned with. And regarding the question of reconciliation of Korean people, he said it was time to seek concession and reconciliation.
Cardinal Kim was born in 1922 in Daegu and he was ordained to the priesthood in 1951 in the same city. He worked as pastor in Gimcheon and director of the Catholic Times until he was consecrated to the bishop and became the ordinary of the Diocese of Masan in 1966 and transferred to the Seoul Archdiocese in 1968. One year after, in 1969, he was created as the Cardinal by Pope Paul VI. Since then, he served the Church as the Archbishop of Seoul until he retired in 1998.
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