CBCK News


Communication on July 11

2009.08.25 10:22


* Symposium Participants Stress the Importance of Pastoral Care for Family

The Pastoral Institute of Korea of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) and the Catholic Times jointly hosted a symposium on family with the theme "Future of the Family, Future of the Church" at Cost Hall of Myongdong Cathedral of Seoul on July 5.

At the symposium, participants called upon the Catholic Church to intensify her pastoral ministry for family considering the family crisis of our times especially reflected in plague of divorce and collapse of traditional family system.

Ms. Gwak Bae-hee, Director of the Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations, presented the first theme, "Reflection on the Causes and Countermeasures for the Crisis of the Korean Family, Especially Focusing on the Problem of Divorce."

She in particular pointed out the importance of gender equality to alleviate the problem of divorce, one of the most challenging problems of modern society, attributing the recent increase of divorce rate to increasing divorce claims of women, especially those in old age, who have endured much sacrifice in family life so far.

Commenting on her presentation, Rev. Peter Park Hyun-min, Undersecretary of the Catholic Conference of Korea, noted, "The feministic view of divorce needs to be supplemented with more fundamental and essential opinions, for the increase of divorce rate in our times also reflects the immaturity and internal maladjustment of each person."

Rev. Casimir Song Yul-sup, Secretary General of the CBCK, who gave the second presentation, suggested alternatives for family pastoral ministry such as new awareness of family as the agent and center of family pastoral ministry, systematic education for families, giving priority to the family pastoral ministry and establishment of institute for this purpose.

Before the discussion, the Most Rev. Peter Lee Ki-heon, President of the Committee for Family Pastoral Ministry of the CBCK, delivered keynote address, emphasizing, "The marriage and family are the plan and blessing of God. The most precious duty of Christian couples in our times is to give witness to the indissolubility of marriage and infinite value of fidelity."

H.E. Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, President of Pontifical Council for the Family, sent an encouraging message, saying, "Family, based on marriage, remains the good news which Christ brings us and the heart of the new evangelization."

* Vietnamese Archbishop Impressed by Dynamics of the Catholic Church in Korea

The Most Rev. Pham Minh Man, Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, made a visit to Korea from July 3 to 11 at the invitation of the Most Rev. Augustine Cheong Myong-jo, Bishop of Pusan.

"Though we still belong to the mission area, the Churches in Vietnam and Korea should cooperate with each other in preparation for the future mission to other Asian countries, especially to North Korea and China," he stressed.

Despite the difficulties caused by government's restrictions imposed on religions, he saw the future of the Church in Vietnam bright, given the increase of growing vocations to priesthood and enthusiasm of the lay faithful.

He said that the purpose of this visit was "to experience personally the dynamics of the Church in Korea" since she could make constant growth in keeping with the economic development of the society.

In particular, he wanted to learn from the Catholic Church in Korea the programs for formation and vocation to priesthood since in Vietnam no priest has been produced from 1975 to 1995 under the communist regime.

He also stressed, "The Korean Catholics should pray with patience to unite and cooperate with the Church in North Korea."

During the visit, he visited Catholic organizations in Pusan including the Catholic University of Pusan and met Vietnamese workers living in Korea and H.E. Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan.

Ordained priest in 1965 in the Diocese of Can Tho and bishop in 1993, he was appointed as Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh in 1998.

* Pope Urges the Dialogue and Cooperation of Two Koreas

On July 4, upon the occasion of receiving the Letters of Credence of Seong Youm, the new ambassador to the Holy See from Korea, His Holiness Pope John Paul II stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation of two Koreas and urged to make efforts for progressive elimination of nuclear weapons. "The Holy See views with favor every effort for dialogue and cooperation," Pope said.

In addition, when the new ambassador from Korea asked Pope to visit North Korea for peace in the Korean Peninsula, Pope allegedly responded positively and promised to pray for Korean people and North Korea.

Pope John Paul II also expressed concern over the culture of death such as abortions, artificial birth control and death penalty and urged the Catholic Church in Korea to defend life and the family for the solidarity and stability of the Korean society.

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