Mass for Peace on the Korean Peninsula
A 'Mass for Peace on the Korean Peninsula' was celebrated in Imjingak, on June 17, 2011 with about 20,000 Catholics expressing their desires for reconciliation and peace on the Korean Peninsula. Among the participants there were 14 bishops, including the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, President of CBCK, and the Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, President of the CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, and 200 priests from all over the country.
Bishop Kang said in his homily, "Even at this moment, Jesus is suffering together with our northern brethren who are still suffering from poverty, hunger and disease." He added, "Jesus is waiting for our conversion. We should repent and return to Justice of God first, turning away from depravity of serving mammon as our master, in order to make true peace on the Korean Peninsula, terminating division, military conflict, starving and disease."
And he urged, "Let's entrust ourselves to Our Lady of Peace, offering the prayer of our repentance, with the heart of Prophet Jeremiah who called for mercy in repenting the sins of Israel.
The CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People issued a letter of plea titled 'Urging true peace on the Korean Peninsula' and appealed as follows :
- the authorities of South and North Korea should actively hold a mutual dialogue to defuse tension and to foster a peace settlement in the Korean Peninsula;
- various humanitarian exchanges necessary for national reunification should be resumed and continued;
- the two Korean authorities should actively engage in bilateral and multilateral talks among the countries directly involved in the denuclearization and disarmament of the Korean Peninsula and a peace settlement in Northeast Asia;
- the leaders from various areas should play an active role to mobilize national energy and power and cease from using the unification issue and inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation as an excuse for political strife;
- neighboring nations also should understand the situation of a divided Korea and strengthen cooperation to make peace a universal human value.