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Communication on June 13

2009.08.25 10:20

Views:7579

* Prof. Donbosco Seong Youm Appointed to Ambassador to the Holy See

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Korean Government made official announcement June 12 that Professor Donbosco Seong Youm, 60, was appointed to the 10th Korean Ambassador to the Holy See.
He will leave for his new post on June 18 after the ceremony of appointment at the Blue House.
"I will try to foster better understanding of the policy toward North Korea and to insure solid support for peace in the Korean Peninsula through close contact with the Holy See authorities and diplomatic corps. The Holy See is in good position to play a significant role to create international opinion in favor of peace and security in the Korean Peninsula. I will do my best to improve relationship of the Holy See and North Korea during my term of office, and realize Holy Father's visit to North Korea as many people hope it. The Holy See has no power for war but has a strong power of peace as the international community recognizes it. I promise to do my best with divine grace to promote the relationship of South Korea and the Holy See," he said.
Born in Gwangju, the new Ambassador to Holy See graduated from the Catholic University of Gwangju in 1972 as well as graduate school of the Catholic University of Gwangju in 1976 and obtained master's degree in theology. From 1981 to 1986 he studied Latin classical literature at Pontificia Studiorum Universitas Salesiana in Rome and obtained a doctorate in literature in 1984. He has taught Litteris Christianis et Classicis at Sogang University in Seoul since 1990.

* Environmental Movement of the Church Needs Spiritual Foundation

At the 3-day seminar of the Committee for Environment of the CBCK (President: Most Rev. John Choi Yong-soo) held from June 6 at Philipo Village in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do under the theme "How to promote environmental spirituality?", the participants said that unlike general environmental movement that is carried out case by case the environmental movement of Church should be founded on spirituality.
"Basically, the root cause of Saemangeum mud flats issue finds in the lack of respect for life and ungrateful moral attitude of people toward the life," the participants pointed out. They also resolved to carry out 'campaign of culture of life' and publicize the importance to save Saemangeum mud flats, one of the world's five major wetlands.
The participants proposed to set up network of environmental movement groups within the Church and to continue campaign of culture of life such as campaign to save Saemangeum mud flats; to save water and energy; not to use detergent and to promote project of Saemangeum national park etc.
Rev. Augustine Chung Hong-kyu, in his lecture on the spirituality and theology of St. Heldergart, a German Benedictine Sister of 12th century, said, "Her unified 'cosmic' spirituality broadens our spiritual life and encourages our engagement to ecological movement," and added "her spirituality expressed in her music, pictures and letters is familiar to us for it stresses on God of joy and optimism rather than sin, suffering and oppression."
Over 40 representatives and members of various environmental groups including the Catholic Environment Solidarity, the Suwon Catholic Environment Center, and Rev. Benedic Hwang Chang-yeon, Executive Secretary of the Committee for Environment of the CBCK participated in this first seminar aimed at building spiritual foundation of the environmental movement of the Church.

* Campaign to Eradicate Sex Trade to be Launched

The Committee for Lay Apostolate of Korea decided to launch a campaign to eradicate sex trade at its 2nd permanent council meeting held on June 7 in Daegu with 70 national delegates.
The participants agreed to the proposal of Focolare that it is necessary to eradicate sex trade from our society in order to protect family safely and to educate children properly and decided to start signature-seeking campaign of Catholics to drive out sex trade and reject pornographic movies and spam mails.
The participants plan to carry out the campaign in collaboration with other Christians and religions and citizens' groups.
According to the report of the prosecutor’s office, the number of women who are involved in sex trade has reached 330,000 and some 10 million people are using lewd chatting site and 40 percent of them are teenagers.

* 2002 Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea Published

The 2002 Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea published June 10 by the Catholic Conference of Korea signals warning for her missionary and pastoral ministry.
According to the Statistics, the number of the Catholics in Korea was 4,347,605 or 9.0% of the total population as of December 31, 2002. Compared to the previous year, it shows increase of 119,117.
However, the increase rate of the number of Catholics dropped from 3.9% in 2001 to 2.8%, which hit bottom since it marked the peak of 6.28% in 1991.
Reflecting this reality, the rate of the newly baptized also dropped by 15.8% from the previous year while the rate of lethargics increased to 35.1% from 33.7% in 2001. The rate of Sunday Mass attendants also dropped to 26.5% from 27.7%.
All these shifts altogether stand for the warning signal for the missionary and pastoral policy and require more effort to be made for new evangelization and re-evangelization.
Of the increase rate of the number of Catholics, remarkably, difference was detected among age groups, showing 33.4% of decrease under aged one while noticeable increase was found in age groups of 50-59 and of over 70.
Besides, the Statistics shows the number of parishes was 1,313, increased by 55 places from the year of 2001 and the number of priests was 3,379, increased by 187 or 5.8%, which made the number of faithful per priest 1,288. The numbers of men and women religious were 1,263 and 9,416, respectively.
On the other hand, the number of secondary stations was 1,042, reflecting constant decrease.

* Social Welfare Workers of Dioceses Meet

The Committee for 'Caritas Coreana' (President: Most Rev. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun) of the CBCK held the 2003 Forum of Working-level Personnel of Social Welfare Field at Training Center of the Diocese of Cheongju June 4 to 5.
Some 60 participants, composed of clergy, religious and laity from social welfare offices of each diocese and related organizations, pointed out that to enhance the diocesan social welfare projects, the workers involved in this field should develop their professional ability and the reward also should be improved accordingly.
Besides, the policy-making ability, strengthening of structure, coordination of work and roles and more investment by the entire Church are also required, participants stressed.
They also reached consensus on the need to establish Catholic Social Welfare Institute and decided to keep discussing this matter in the future.
Also being aware of the need for solidarity among dioceses, they decided to grope for ways of practical solidarity and to hold semiannual meeting of priests and religious in charge of social welfare facilities.
Rev. Paul Jeremiah Hwang Yong-yeon, Executive Secretary of the Committee, said, "Social welfare workers who conduct various activities in each diocese considering the characteristics of each region need this kind of place so as to discuss common interests and build relationship of cooperation."
The Most Rev. Gabriel Chang asked in his homily the social welfare workers to "be specialists of social welfare field who can understand the will of God through the wisdom of faith."

* Efforts Are Made to Animate the Christian Life of the Youth

The Committee on Education (President: Most Rev. Paul Ri Moun-hi) of the CBCK held a joint meeting of diocesan personnel engaged in education from June 3 to 4 at Cursillo Education Center of the Archdiocese of Taegu to discuss the animation of Christian life of the youth.
From 12 dioceses some 30 staffs in education office participated in the meeting and gave presentation on the initiatives regarding the youth education of Christian life conducted on diocesan level and the results.
For the Archdiocese of Taegu, the Committee of Youth Education established in 1999 has sponsored training sessions at least twice a year and focused on the realistic education policy and improvement of educational circumstances for the evangelization of the youth.
In the Diocese of Suwon, they emphasized the importance of the community of family and for this purpose 'faith education for parents' was developed to be used in parishes and districts.
In the while, the Diocese of Inchon has sought for this aim through meetings by the district.
The participants voiced unanimously that the youth education should be stimulated with the activation of Basic Ecclesial Community movement and that experience-oriented programs and formation of catechists are urgent to animate Christian life of the youth.

* Two Brothers Dispatched to Iraq

The Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women in Korea, Orders of Friars Minor and Catholic Peace Solidarity sent to Iraq some 140,000,000 won or US$116,666 on June 7 through Br. Joseph Sok Il-hung from Orders of Friars Minor and Br. John Kim Jae-bok from the Society of Mary(Marianist).
They had a simple ceremony of prayer to dispatch the two Brothers to Iraq at Inchon International Airport.
"The relief donation is expected to be used for Iraqi children, war refugees, restoration of poor neighborhoods and medical supplies, however it will be used for most urgent cases," the two Brothers said.

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