|* A Korean Martyr Selected as "This Month's Cultural Figure"|
On Oct. 20, the Ministry of Culture & Tourism of the Korean Government announced that Augustine Chong Yag-jong(1760-1801), one of the martyrs of Sinyu Persecution in 1801, was selected as "This Month's Cultural Figure" for January, 2002.
He is the first Korean Catholic to be selected as the "Cultural Figure" that the Ministry selects and decides every month. This decision is significant for the Catholic Church in Korea as it will offer a good opportunity for the martyrs of Sinyu Persecution to be widely known and the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Sinyu Persecution.
In next January, the portrait of Augustine Chong Yag-jong will appear on the calendar that the Ministry publishes and a variety of cultural, academic and exaltation-related events will be held in memory of him throughout the month.
To celebrate it, the Korean Martyrs Exaltation Committee of Seoul Archdiocese(Director: Rev. Peter Bae) plans to hold commemorative lectures on his life and thoughts, in Majae, his birthplace, and organizes a pilgrimage from Majae to his martyr place in Seoul, in collaboration with Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do.
This Committee, which completed the standard portrait of Augustine Chong Yag-jong in last August, is also planning; to compile historical materials on him; to hold a competition of book review on "Ju-Gyo-Yo-Ji", a catechism he wrote in Korean; to hold a students' competition of research paper on him.
As well as the author of the first catechism written in Korean, Augustine Chong Yag-jong also worked as the first president of "Myeong-do-hoi", a catechists' association of the early Catholic Church in Korea.
His family, from which more than ten martyrs came, produced important figures in the history of the Catholic Church in Korea; St. Paul Chong Hasang and St. Elizabeth Chong Chong-hye, who were martyrized during Gihae Persecution in 1839, are his son and daughter. Augustine Chong Yag-jong, the famous scholar at the time is his younger brother.
* Acts of the 2001 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK; The Catholic Church in Korea Moves on for the Beatification and Canonization of her Martyrs
The 2001 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK held from Oct. 15 to 18 established 'Episcopal Special Commission for the Beatification and Canonization.
To facilitate the initiatives of each diocese for the beatification and canonization of Korean martyrs, the bishops agreed on the needs of establishing a structure to discuss common problems such as the selection of candidates for the Servant of God. With the bishops of five dioceses, Seoul, Suwon, Taegu, Cheongju and Chonju as members, the Most Rev. Michael Pak, president of the CBCK, will head the new Commission.
During this assembly, "Norm on the National Committees of the CBCK", which will be used by 17 National Committees of the CBCK, "Guidelines for Compilation of History of Parish" and "Directives on the Sending Abroad and Sojourn of Diocesan Priests" are enacted for the use on the national level.
Along these, the bishops reaffirmed that only the public associations that were established by competent ecclesiastical authority can work or speak in the name of the Church and that a private association can not become a public one even though it is approved by competent authority.
Concluding the assembly, the CBCK issued a statement on the situation of Afghanistan, in which the bishops expressed deep condolence to the victims of terrorist attacks in the U.S.A. and also expressed concern over the U.S.A.-led military retaliation saying that violence begets another violence.
* Churches in Korea, Japan and Philippines Join Hands for Peace in Asia
The particular Churches of Pusan(Korea), Hiroshima(Japan) and Infanta (Philippines) joined hands to build peace in Asia.
On Oct. 28, the delegation of the three dioceses comprised of Most Rev. Augustine Cheong Myong-jo of Pusan, Most Rev. Joseph Atsumi Misue of Hiroshima and Most Rev. Xavier Julio Labayen of Infanta, and other priests, religious and lay people celebrated the 1st anniversary of the sisterhood-peace pact at Namcheon Parish in Korea and pledged to work for peace of the world.
Most Rev. Augustine Cheong said in his homily "Christians are called to be peacemakers beyond the barriers of nationality," and invited the faithful of the three dioceses to work for peace in solidarity.
Most Rev. Joseph Atsumi Misue of Hiroshima asked pardon for all pains and sufferings that Japan had caused to the Asian people by saying that "I deeply regret for terrible sufferings and sacrifices that Japan had caused to Asian people during the War in the past, especially to Koreans and Philippines. Today, I would like to make a sincere apology and ask them to forgive us." and he added "I would like to fulfill my mission of peacemaker on the basis of this painful experience and in collaboration with the two dioceses."
Most Rev. Xavier Julio Labayen of Infanta said, "Peace is a concrete realization of compassion, love and justice," and invited the participant to respond to the call of Christ, Prince of Peace, to be peacemakers for the world,
The sisterhood-peace pact of the three dioceses was inspired when the three bishops met in Hiroshima on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of atomic bombing to Hiroshima on Aug. 5, 1995.
On that occasion the three bishops felt that they should do something for peace of the world and decided to take some actions.
As a result of the decision, the three bishops signed for the sisterhood-peace pact in Hiroshima on Aug. 5, 2000. Some 30 Filipino workers who joined the celebration made the sisterhood-peace pact more meaningful. The 20 delegations of Hiroshima and Infanta left Korea on Oct. 29 to their countries.