In a recent interview with Jungang Daily as of January 21, 2013, the Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, President of Caritas Korea International, talked about the charitable service of the Catholic Church in Korea, especially as a member organization of the Caritas Internationalis. Since the establishment of the Overseas Aid Sunday in 1993, the Catholic Church in Korea has supported local churches in other countries and foreign aid programs with the help of the faithful who generously made a donation for the good cause of foreign aid.
Bishop Kim said, “I am proud that we can help other countries, as I know very well that we were foreign aid-receiving country just 20 to 30 years ago.” He continued, “Caritas Korea International has supported 655 foreign aid programs with the sum of 30 billion KRW for 19 years since 1993. Last year we spent 3.4 billion KRW for foreign aid, this year we are planning to spend about 4.5 billion KRW with the generous donation of 12,000 regular supporters and the special collection of the faithful at Sunday Mass of the last week of January. I guess it ranks among the top 10 contributors of the 164 members of Caritas Internationalis.”
Bishop Kim also said, “It stands to reason that we as Christians share what we have with others, as a way of manifesting love. We are going to put emphasis on water in this year.” He meant that the Catholic Church in Korea will render help to some countries in Africa suffering from water shortage, like Kenya and Ethiopia. As water shortage often leads to food crisis, the Church is going to help those countries to secure drinking water as well as water for agricultural use.
The Caritas Internationalis was established as an international humanitarian confederation with founding members from 13 countries in December, 1951. Caritas Coreana was established in 1975 as the Human Development Committee. According to the decision made at the 2008 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK, the Caritas Coreana was divided into Caritas Korea International and Caritas Committe of the CBCK in 2010. Since then, the Caritas Korea International serves as the official agency for international aid and development of the Catholic Church in Korea.