CBCK News


Communication on Apr. 18

2009.08.24 14:03


* Bishops' Easter Messages Call for Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation

For the 2003 Easter Sunday, each Bishop issued Easter Message and asked the faithful to be born anew as Christians in the likeness of Christ so that a new way of life can be opened to the world with the light of reconciliation and peace.
Especially, the Bishops expressed condolence for the innocent Iraqi children and adults who have lost lives during the war and called for positive concern for reconstruction of Iraq and humanitarian support for the Iraqi people after the war.

In addition, they asked the faithful to pray for the settlement of peace on the Korean Peninsula, noting the threat by North Korea's nuclear issue.

Expressing deep concern for the "Culture of Death" prevalent in Korean society, shown by the case of Daegu subway arson, the Bishops invited the faithful to live out charity and prayer to restore human-centered values and sanctify family, the basic unit of human community.

The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, said, "Peace, the realization of justice, cannot be set up at one time for good but gradually realized by continuous effort of everyone," and asked the faithful to "listen to the will of God, the source of peace, and become good examples to others in seeking common good and building a peaceful world by making ourselves the instrument of peace."

* Cardinal Kim Emphasizes Mutual Trust and Exchange of the two Koreas

His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan emphasized "reconciliation and cooperation" for the peaceful relationship between the two Koreas, and pointed out that mutual trust and exchanges are required for its purpose. He also prayed that the spirit of peace may be realized by the practice of love.

He said it in his keynote address at the seminar sponsored by the Committee for Justice & Peace of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea(CBCK). The seminar was held at the Myeongdong Catholic Center downtown Seoul on April 12 with the theme of "Is Peace Possible between Two Koreas?" to mark the 40th year of the promulgation of Pacem in Terris (on April 11), the Encyclical of Blessed John XXIII.
Similarly, other participants presented mutual trust and exchanges as the main tasks to settle peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Professor Lee Sam-yeol, Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding under the UNESCO Korean National Commission, said, "In the crisis of the Korean Peninsula, we should seek ways to eliminate the doubts dividing the two Koreas, that is, doubt about communizing unification and absorptive unification, and build mutual trust," and suggested ways such as concluding a peace accord and a nonaggression pact, recognizing each other's system and promoting exchanges and cooperation.

Mr. John Kim Hyeong-tae, lawyer, also pointed out that the intensification of exchanges and trust is the only way toward peace and Professor Thomas Aquinas Kim Eo-sang of Sogang University called for building peace based on the social teachings of the Catholic Church which are structured on the two pillars of revelation and reason.

* Korean Catholics Take Initiative to Send Medical Supplies to Iraq

U.S.A.-led war has left deep wounds in the heart of many peace loving people. The Caritas Coreana of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea with the Catholic Times, the Pyonghwa Shinmun and many Church organizations is holding a joint campaign to send medical supplies to Iraq.

"The human life is precious regardless race, nation and religion". But this teaching is a mere shame for the Iraqi people who suffer from the war and its tragic consequences. Especially, Iraqi children are in terrible situation with lack of medical supplies. They need our help urgently." said the Caritas Coreana official.

Meantime, Rev. John Baptist Park Chang-il from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, left to Iraq on April 13 with medical supplies for Iraqi children. He will work with Rev. Noel Shin Seong-guk, Director of the Youth Camping Center in the Diocese of Cheongju, who left to Iraq on March to denounce the U.S.A.-led war on Iraq that is shameful and unjustifiable and to share the suffering of the Iraqi people with the international peace activists.

"I hope that my visit to Iraq with medical supplies will be an opportunity to reconfirm that all people are brothers and sisters in God beyond race, nation and religion. I want to share the suffering of the Iraqi people and at the same time to raise concern of the international community about the unfair U.S.A.-led war on Iraq." said Rev. Park at the Incheon International Airport before he left.

The collaboration of many people with good-will made possible this trip: The Justice and Peace Committee of the Kwangju Archdiocese and the Diocese of Cheongju raised US$6,000 to spend on donating medical supplies and the Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women in Korea and other many anonimous supporters made their contributions.

"Support of the Church in Korea is urgently requested. We have to save children who are the future of the humanity. Please, help us!" Rev. Park said.
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