CBCK Newsletter

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CBCK Newsletter No.52 (Fall 2005)

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From the Editor: Mater Ecclesia

Mater Ecclesia

Jesus our Lord was criticized by the Pharisees and scribes as "a glutton and a drunkard," because he was eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners. However, the Lord, who sees the pure tears in the sinners' eyes and does not spurn "a broken, humbled heart," enjoyed a banquet with the sinners, eating and drinking with them. It was a sign of forgiveness, an explicit declaration that "your sins are forgiven." In the Eucharist where Jesus offers his body and blood for "the forgiveness of sins for us and all" we encounter our Lord who was eating and drinking with the collectors and sinners. If the Church fails to embrace the fragile and wounded faithful and just emphasizes discipline and norms, anti-evangelical rigorism and elitism will sprout and grow in the Church.

The Church called and instituted by the Lord is a community open to all. She is to embrace all, including sinners, tax collectors, the sick, beggars, the unlearned and the poor. The Church is a place where it is proclaimed that they too are all precious sons and daughters of God and where they experience the preferential love and mercy of God towards the poor and the least. It is the place of rebirth by virtue of the overflowing grace of newness. In the Church we vividly experience the sacred heart of the Lord who is a friend of sinners and prostitutes, a healer for the weary and sick, and a good shepherd searching for the lost sheep. The Church is a healing place for the sick and wounded, not a court to condemn and punish people.

Traditionally, Fathers of the Church have called the Church "the Mother." For they saw in the Church the image of mother who feeds, cleanses, and takes care of the children. The Church is not a harsh stepmother who just oversees, judges, supervises and reproaches. She is the Mother to whom we can always return when we are defeated, discouraged or disheartened. As the Fathers of the Church taught us, this is the Mother Church, "Mater Ecclesia"!

Fr. Vincent Choe Wono

Undersecretary

Catholic Bishops' Conference

of Korea

 

 

 

 

 

Message for the 10th Farmers' Sunday

Message for the 10th Farmers' Sunday

"My Father is the Vine Grower."

(John 15,1)

   Ten years have passed since the Catholic Church in Korea established Farmers' Sunday. In 1994 the Catholic Church in Korea initiated "Save Our Rural Community" campaign to help the farmers in grave crisis because of the enactment of the so-called "Uruguay Round Agriculture Agreement." In the next year, the CBCK in its Autumn General Assembly decided that annually the third Sunday of July would be commemorated as Farmers' Sunday. It was decided to give the faithful in Korea a chance to recognize the importance of agriculture and the rural area and to call their attention to the importance of the preservation of the order of creation.

   In line with this decision, over the last ten years the Catholic Church in Korea through the Korean Catholic Farmers' Movement has tried to practice "life-agriculture" and diffuse the communal culture by establishing production communities in villages or secondary stations in rural areas. The Movement has also promoted the twinning of cities and rural areas so that direct sales centers in urban areas where parishes have banded together can receive agricultural products from life-agricultural communities. This effort by the Catholic Church in Korea has resulted in a new way of life, giving hope to the rural areas and providing pollution-free life-food, all according to God's order of creation. Furthermore, the program has contributed to nationwide consensus building on the value of agriculture and has become a model for similar movements in every corner of society.

   In spite of these efforts, the agriculture and rural areas are in severe danger at the moment. Over the last ten years more and more farmers have left their homes one after the other and now there are just 341 million people, about 7.1% of the population, in the rural areas. And about 50% of these people are over 60. Household debts have jumped almost four times in ten years. The income disparity between urban and rural areas has grown to 70%. In addition, the door to cheap foreign rice has been opened wide since the second half of this year, as the result of the so-called "rice agreement" forcing Korea to double the volume of its rice imports and even to market it domestically.

   All of this is despite a warning of a world food shortage and the declaration by the U.N. that 2004 was the "Year of Rice." In a situation when the food self-sufficiency rate is just 25.3% and as low as 3% when rice is excepted, there is a critical threat to national sovereignty, national security and public health, not to mention the destruction of agriculture and rural areas, if the rice culture, the foundation and basis of our agricultural and rural areas, collapses. What makes matters worse is that negotiations about agricultural products by the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Hong Kong in December of this year aim at the full opening of the Korean market to foreign agricultural products and the reduction of subvention and tariffs.

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,

   The Catholic Church in Korea has indicated several times that the crisis in agriculture and rural areas is a problem not just for farmers, because we cannot rehabilitate the health of our society and nation nor can we preserve the order of creation without a correct settlement of the agricultural problem. The Catholic Church in Korea cannot but take the initiative to solve the problem of farmers who above all others are the workers of life participating in God's work of creation but now they have become the marginalized and suffering people of God. According to the teaching of the Church, true development is a process in which the community and those in it change into more human people. Therefore the Catholic Church in Korea urges the National Assembly and the Government to exert sincere efforts toward an agricultural policy aimed at true national development which cares for national security, the environment, and public health, parting from an open market orientation that is destructive of the rice culture. Appropriate farmland and manpower for agriculture must be guaranteed and farmers' income must be stabilized. Legislators must also establish such policies that members of middle and small sized families can stay in rural areas without undue fears. Only in this way, we can give the younger generation a chance to live, who has a hope for the life preservation in the rapidly aging rural area. We expect the Government could issue an efficacious and earnest long-term policy for the farmers from now on.

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,

   Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Farmers' Sunday, we have to show more interest and exert more efforts for the "Save Our Rural Community" campaign, in which the Church has taken the initiative, so that it can spread widely in the Church. This campaign is a concrete measure of the Church against the rural and ecological crisis. To save both the rural areas and even ourselves, we should establish a solid framework for the solidarity of cities and rural areas by the expansion of the direct sales of the agricultural products and the development of the real personal exchange. As a campaign to change the world and oneself focusing on the value of God-given life and communality, this will bear fruits when we change wrong systems and policies and make transparent the transaction of the agricultural products with the improvement of our awareness and way of life. The Church will keep expanding the efforts to save the agriculture and the rural areas.

   As Jesus said "My Father is the vine grower"(John 15:1), it is the farmer, a "life-worker", who produces the daily bread in accordance with the divine order of creation. Even though the way to save our agriculture and rural areas is long and hard, the first step must begin with our humble sharing and practice. On the occasion of the 10th Farmers' Sunday, let us all in cities and rural areas "consider how to rouse one another to love and good works"(Hebrews 10:24) and let "a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom"(Isaiah 11:1) in the weary and exhausted rural area.

July 17, 2005

+ Boniface Choi Ki-san

Bishop of Incheon

President

Committee for Justice & Peace

of the CBCK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message for the Month of Mission

Message for the Month of Mission

Mission to the Young, An Urgent Demand

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,

   In this month of mission, we should listen to the command of our Lord who said, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age"(Mt 28:19-20).

   Remembering that numerous Christians have been martyred for this dignified mission, we should reaffirm that it is the essential mission of every individual Christian to deliver the good news to the people of our time who have not yet heard of Christ. We also should examine precisely the mission of the Catholic Church in Korea and set up strategies and practical ways for the future.

   Diminution of Mission to the Young

   Looking at the changes in the Catholic population in Korea, the diminution of evangelization of the young is noticeable. This phenomenon started to emerge with the opening of the new millennium.

   Since the year 2000 the number of Catholics under the age of 40 has been constantly decreasing. The situation has worsened because of the rapid decrease of infant baptisms, the difficulty in managing Sunday schools, and the disappearance of young Catholics in parishes.

   Unemployment among young people, resulted from the economic depression and fierce competitions, has also hindered young people from going to church. The young, preparing for their future, have become preoccupied with secular affairs and have neglected evangelical values.

   Make Unified Efforts in Mission to Youth

   Faced with this reality, we have no choice but to seek solutions and prepare measures promptly and systematically. We must choose alternatives that are filled with the evangelical spirit and are fitting for the so-called "Internet Generation." It is necessary to listen to young people to learn what they want and then to respond to their needs. We must proclaim Jesus Christ as Liberator (cf. Lk 4:16-21) or Healer (cf. Mk 1:40-42) or Good Shepherd (cf. Jn 10:1-6,10-16) according to their needs.

   Generally speaking, the young generation give priority to emotions, interest, convenience, freedom and sensitivity. In their view, the Catholic faith is "uninteresting", "inconvenient", and "demanding". Therefore, we must study appropriate ways to evangelize youth.

   I make the following detailed suggestions for each age group.

   1) Importance of infant baptism. At present, the rate of infant baptism is under 30%. To counteract this trend the Christian formation of those who are about to marry is important. Some young people wrongfully think that children should be baptized only when they are old enough to choose their own religion. Older members of the family should guide young parents to have their children baptized.

   2) Christian formation for preschool children. Children brought up in a family permeated with prayer and good liturgical practice grow naturally in their Christian faith and build a solid foundation for their Christian life.

   3) Religious formation for students from elementary school to high school. We know that personality development and studies are as important as religious formation for this age group. Therefore, first and foremost we must develop and implement educational and cultural programs which can satisfy these three areas. Moreover, young people should act as "agents and collaborators of the apostolate" in the spirit of the Church, for the Church and for fellow students, parents and neighbors.

   4) Mission on campus. Until now, the Catholic Church in Korea has not paid sufficient attention to mission on campus. Authorities in local churches should make efforts to form specialized campus pastors and encourage the active involvement of Catholic teachers and school staff members. They should promote the efforts of the students themselves as they evangelize their peers.

   5) Evangelization of soldiers. Although we have always emphasized the importance of mission on campus and in military units because we believe that the future of the Catholic Church in Korea belongs to those in their twenties, the material and personnel for this work has been inadequate. Sparing no efforts, we must give greater concern and prayers to this work.

   6) Pre-marital programs for the engaged. Various programs must be offered to the engaged on the significance of marriage and the family, on the responsibility of parents for the religious education of their children, and on the principles for happiness in conjugal life.

   7) Evangelization of young workers. We must give both material and spiritual assistance to young workers so that they can form Christian communities in their workplaces and become witnesses of the Gospel to others.

   The best way is to secure the "inheritance of the faith" within the whole Church. The Catholic Church in Korea was able to survive severe persecutions because of the inheritance of the faith that had been passed down within families. Many of the present difficulties of the Church are the result of the Church's failure to educate the faithful in this principle.

   When this principle of the "inheritance of the faith" has been once more inscribed in the hearts and minds of adult Catholics, they will be able to take care of ordinary sacramental life involving infant baptism, first communion, and confirmation. The Catholic life of those in their twenties and thirties is largely dependent on the faith that people inherited as children in their families.

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,

   We have an urgent command to evangelize the young who are still living in darkness so that they can encounter the good news and live a new life. For this, we should recall the confession of St. Paul the Apostle and accept it as a warning for our own missionary responsibilities.

   "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!"(1 Cor 9:16)

+ John Choi Young-soo

President

Committee for Evangelization

of the CBCK

 

 

 

Message for the Month of Mission

Message for the Month of Mission

Mission to the Young, An Urgent Demand

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,

   In this month of mission, we should listen to the command of our Lord who said, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age"(Mt 28:19-20).

   Remembering that numerous Christians have been martyred for this dignified mission, we should reaffirm that it is the essential mission of every individual Christian to deliver the good news to the people of our time who have not yet heard of Christ. We also should examine precisely the mission of the Catholic Church in Korea and set up strategies and practical ways for the future.

   Diminution of Mission to the Young

   Looking at the changes in the Catholic population in Korea, the diminution of evangelization of the young is noticeable. This phenomenon started to emerge with the opening of the new millennium.

   Since the year 2000 the number of Catholics under the age of 40 has been constantly decreasing. The situation has worsened because of the rapid decrease of infant baptisms, the difficulty in managing Sunday schools, and the disappearance of young Catholics in parishes.

   Unemployment among young people, resulted from the economic depression and fierce competitions, has also hindered young people from going to church. The young, preparing for their future, have become preoccupied with secular affairs and have neglected evangelical values.

   Make Unified Efforts in Mission to Youth

   Faced with this reality, we have no choice but to seek solutions and prepare measures promptly and systematically. We must choose alternatives that are filled with the evangelical spirit and are fitting for the so-called "Internet Generation." It is necessary to listen to young people to learn what they want and then to respond to their needs. We must proclaim Jesus Christ as Liberator (cf. Lk 4:16-21) or Healer (cf. Mk 1:40-42) or Good Shepherd (cf. Jn 10:1-6,10-16) according to their needs.

   Generally speaking, the young generation give priority to emotions, interest, convenience, freedom and sensitivity. In their view, the Catholic faith is "uninteresting", "inconvenient", and "demanding". Therefore, we must study appropriate ways to evangelize youth.

   I make the following detailed suggestions for each age group.

   1) Importance of infant baptism. At present, the rate of infant baptism is under 30%. To counteract this trend the Christian formation of those who are about to marry is important. Some young people wrongfully think that children should be baptized only when they are old enough to choose their own religion. Older members of the family should guide young parents to have their children baptized.

   2) Christian formation for preschool children. Children brought up in a family permeated with prayer and good liturgical practice grow naturally in their Christian faith and build a solid foundation for their Christian life.

   3) Religious formation for students from elementary school to high school. We know that personality development and studies are as important as religious formation for this age group. Therefore, first and foremost we must develop and implement educational and cultural programs which can satisfy these three areas. Moreover, young people should act as "agents and collaborators of the apostolate" in the spirit of the Church, for the Church and for fellow students, parents and neighbors.

   4) Mission on campus. Until now, the Catholic Church in Korea has not paid sufficient attention to mission on campus. Authorities in local churches should make efforts to form specialized campus pastors and encourage the active involvement of Catholic teachers and school staff members. They should promote the efforts of the students themselves as they evangelize their peers.

   5) Evangelization of soldiers. Although we have always emphasized the importance of mission on campus and in military units because we believe that the future of the Catholic Church in Korea belongs to those in their twenties, the material and personnel for this work has been inadequate. Sparing no efforts, we must give greater concern and prayers to this work.

   6) Pre-marital programs for the engaged. Various programs must be offered to the engaged on the significance of marriage and the family, on the responsibility of parents for the religious education of their children, and on the principles for happiness in conjugal life.

   7) Evangelization of young workers. We must give both material and spiritual assistance to young workers so that they can form Christian communities in their workplaces and become witnesses of the Gospel to others.

   The best way is to secure the "inheritance of the faith" within the whole Church. The Catholic Church in Korea was able to survive severe persecutions because of the inheritance of the faith that had been passed down within families. Many of the present difficulties of the Church are the result of the Church's failure to educate the faithful in this principle.

   When this principle of the "inheritance of the faith" has been once more inscribed in the hearts and minds of adult Catholics, they will be able to take care of ordinary sacramental life involving infant baptism, first communion, and confirmation. The Catholic life of those in their twenties and thirties is largely dependent on the faith that people inherited as children in their families.

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,

   We have an urgent command to evangelize the young who are still living in darkness so that they can encounter the good news and live a new life. For this, we should recall the confession of St. Paul the Apostle and accept it as a warning for our own missionary responsibilities.

   "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!"(1 Cor 9:16)

+ John Choi Young-soo

President

Committee for Evangelization

of the CBCK

 

 

 

 

Pastoral Letter of the Bishop of Masan

Pastoral Letter

A Human Embryo Is a Life: We Were All Embryos

   Dear brothers and sisters, religious and ministers,

   A statement by the Catholic Church in Korea on the embryonic stem cell research of Dr. Hwang Woo-suk was issued on June 4, 2005. This was a joint statement of the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine and the Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs of the CBCK. With this statement the Church has manifested her opposition to the embryonic stem cell research and experiments being conducted by Dr. Hwang. Through the research of Dr. Hwang, the possibility of overcoming incurable diseases has increased, and there seems to be a surging expectation that this technology, assuming the role of a locomotive in a competitive world, will bring Korea tremendous economic profit. In fact, however, despite high expectations it harbors ethical problems threatening human life.

   The research of Dr. Hwang entails anti-life behavior: the artificial production of a human embryo, which is a life; the production of stem cells from the human embryo; and finally the disposal of the used human embryo as waste material. The research of Dr. Hwang is an artificial manipulation of human life violating the normal principle of genetic development of human life. A cloned embryo is truly a human life, so it is against the dignity of the human person to conduct experiments on or to manipulate the human embryo. It is ethically intolerable to look for means to cure incurable diseases by using a human embryo, because the method presupposes the destruction of the human embryo. Cloning a human embryo, a total human life, to cure a disease results in a behavior which uses the life of one person as a means or instrument to cure another person. Here the human beings becomes a means, not an end.

   We were all embryos in our biological history. As embryos we had lives and we continue to live that life today. What does an embryo become as it grows? It must become a human being. It can never be anything other than a human being. To develop into a human being there must be human life from the beginning. Using a human embryo for research and experimentation and then finally disposing of it cannot be anything but the immoral behavior of destroying life.

   Contemporary society is focused only on the cure of diseases and does not care about the ways and means to the cure. Society is excited over the results of scientific technology but does not consider the process and procedure. Although we oppose the embryonic stem cell research, we do not turn our face away from the pain and agony of patients. We just disagree with the method of artificial intervention which sacrifices one life to save another. Your life is as precious as mine. We should not be ecstatic just about the cure of incurable diseases, but we should give deep thought to the method and process used to achieve this goal.

   It is a kind of violence and tyranny on the part of a man with vested interests when he thinks that for the sake of treating a disease he can arbitrarily manipulate a life which is incapable of self-defense or self-decision. Just as the aim of a behavior must be good, so must be the means.

   Embryonic stem cells are not the only means to cure incurable diseases. Adult stem cell therapy has been clinically well proved and is ethically non-controversial and very safe. Since many bio-scientists argue that we have to research and use stem cells because they will render great service to medicine and human life, we would like to propose that adult stem cells be used instead of embryonic stem cells.

   Adult stem cells are extractable from human blood, marrow, or umbilical cord blood and placental tissues. This is ethically non-controversial because it does not necessitate the killing of embryonic life. The effectiveness of adult stem cells has already been clinically well established.

   Dear brothers and sisters, religious and ministers,

   We are living in a world deeply permeated with various cultures of anti-life and death. In a world where defending the dignity and sacredness of life may be mocked, the opportunity for defending life as something holy and sacred is dwindling away.

   We are living in a world where the manipulation and commercialization of life abound in the name of science and technology. We are living in a world where the essentially holy and sacred value of life is subjected to defamation. Life is no longer an important value to be revered. It has long since been reduced to be a means for commercial or economic profit. Life is abused as a means to fulfill unsatiable greed and desire. As a result, the dignity of life is disregarded, the ethos of reverence for life has ceased to exist, and contempt for life spreads.

   We do not ignore the need to cure serious diseases and assure long healthy life. But we can never agree with the attempt to use and eventually dispose of another's life to guarantee my long and healthy life. We have to learn from history what resulted when science ignored critics and rejected ethical and other checks.

   We are Christians. A Christian believes in Christ. He is a person who confesses Christ to be his Lord. Because of this confession many lived a life of suffering and died as martyrs. If you confess Christ to be your Lord, you have to accept the evangelical values He proclaimed and do your best to practice these values in daily life. You have to be armed with a sense of faith and accept values as a true Christian believing in Christ.

   There is proper teaching by the Catholic Church on the matter of life. I would like to ask you to search and study what the Church teaches about the life. I would like to ask you to give deep thought to the meaning of a faithful life as a Christian by studying and comparing the arguments of the world and scientific technology on the matter of life with the teachings of the Church on this matter. I expect you to take the initiative in evangelizing worldly fashions and trends with Christian values and attitudes. I would like to ask you to have the courage to say "yes" or "no" based on established Christian values, attitudes and beliefs.

   The essence of the Gospel proclaimed by our Lord Jesus Christ is the Gospel of life. Human life never ceases to be sacred from its beginning to its end, because it has its origins in God.

   We have to give this world hope by proclaiming the Gospel of life and by preserving a sense of the deep value and dignity of life. We have to engage in the creation of a culture of life and protest the culture of death and the wave of anti-life so deeply permeated in our society. Especially we have to proclaim that we can never dream about happiness or hope if we refuse and reject the life which has been given freely by God. This proclamation presupposes love for life.

   I would like to thank you all who are always praying for our Diocese. Especially I would like to thank you who are doing your best for the rebirth of the community of faith in which God is pleased through reflection, renewal, Bible study, family prayer, attendance at daily Mass, participation in the pro-life movement. I will pray to God that he will greatly bless all of you brothers and sisters, religious and ministers who are doing your best to live a faithful life notwithstanding many difficulties. I hope that you are happy because of your belief in God, while I give my word that I will devote myself to the mission as "the protector of life."


July 5, 2005 
On the Feast of St. Andreas Kim Dae-geon, priest and martyr

+ Francis Xavier Ahn Myong-ok

Bishop of Masan

 

 

 

 

Archbishop Cheong's Commentary on the Holy Father's Missionary ...

Archbishop Cheong's Commentary 
on the Holy Father's Missionary Prayer Intention

   In a commentary contributed to the Fides Service on the Holy Father's missionary prayer intention for August 2005, "For students from mission Churches studying in Rome: may their studies in the Eternal City be a time of spiritual enrichment," the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, said, "Rome is the most suitable place where young people can foster their missionary spirit to better respond to the call to work as 'co-workers of the Truth' (Cooperatores Veritatis) without being afraid." The following is the full text of his commentary made public in the Agenzia Fides on July 27, 2005.

   It gives us great joy to see many priests, seminarians, religious and lay faithful from various mission countries engaged in studies in Rome. These young people have chosen "the good portion" (Lk 10:42) for their formation. Rome, the eternal city, the heart of Christianity, the eternal school of the universal Church is indeed the ideal place for Christian formation.

   They might study well in their own countries, but here in Rome they can go deeper and have the opportunity to study in famous academic institutes. In addition to high level theological and scientific studies these students pursue at the pontifical universities and athenaeums, they can also cultivate a sense of nearness to the See of Peter and his successors.

   In fact residing in the Church of Rome itself must help them to strengthen fidelity to her, "in which the primacy of the apostolic see has always been in force" (St Augustine, Ep. 43.7) and which is a "permanent and visible source and foundation of unity of faith and communion" (Lumen Gentium 18). Being physically near to the Supreme Pontiff and being able to see him and listen to him certainly strengthens fidelity to him.

   Moreover in Rome they can really have a more universal vision of the Church: they can see, know and live many experiences. While meeting their counterparts from other parts of the world, students can benefit from contact with different ecclesial realities and they will thus discover new horizons for pursuing evangelization in their own countries with firm adherence to the Magisterium of the Pope.

   In Rome students can experience the legacy of the primitive evangelization that the apostles Peter and Paul and many martyrs handed down through the early centuries of the Church. Apart from formation in the classroom they can also learn from the remains of the Christian roots that are still alive and visible in many places in the Eternal City. Here the early Christians and their descendents showed their fidelity to Christ, proclaiming the Good News merely with the force of truth and the witness of their life amidst an environment of hostility and persecution.

   In Rome students can also experience the footsteps many other Saints have left in the history of Christianity through the centuries. They can also benefit from the encounter with so many creative works of art inspired by Christian values.

   All in all, Rome is the most suitable place where young people can foster their missionary spirit to better respond to the call to work as "co-workers of the Truth (Cooperatores Veritatis)" without being afraid. We need to encourage them. We need to support them in every possible way, especially by our prayers so that they may attain spiritual enrichment during this precious and irreversible time of their studies in Rome so that they can make themselves "all things to all peoples" (1 Cor 9:22) for the sake of evangelization in their own countries. We badly need well-trained workers in the Lord's vast vineyard which is in mission countries.

   They are a reason for hope because they represent a privileged sign of the Lord's love for his beloved Church in mission countries.

 

 

 

 

 

News from the Church in Korea

News from the Church in Korea

● German Priest in Pusan Named Prelate of Honor; Three Priests in Suwon Appointed Chaplains of Honour of His Holiness

   The Diocese of Pusan announced that as of April 27, 2005 the Rev. Anthony Trauner, 83, was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.

   Ordained a priest in 1958, Monsignor Trauner came to Korea the same year and was incardinated into the Diocese of Pusan. Since then, he has been devoted to pastoral care of the faithful in Pusan, especially promoting Marian piety by organizing the Korean branch of the World Apostolate of Fatima, the Blue Army, and by founding the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Despite his advanced age, he is still active in conducting retreats, lectures, prayer meetings and pious functions.

   The investiture Mass was celebrated at the Namcheon parish in Busan on July 7. The Most Rev. Augustine Cheong Myong-jo, Bishop of Busan celebrated the mass with 2,500 of the faithful.

   Bishop Cheong said that "Monsignor Trauner has witnessed sincerely to the heartfelt love of the Blessed Virgin Mary by being with the poor despite suffering and hardship." He said, "Monsignor Trauner's love of Korea is so great that I hear he would prefer to be in Korea than to be a Prelate of Honor."

   Monsignor Trauner responded, "I will keep on praying hand in hand with you that the Blessed Virgin Mary may accomplish her wondrous plan for this age."

   The Diocese of Suwon announced on August 4, 2005 that as of June 23 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI had appointed three priests in the diocese as Chaplains of Honour of His Holiness.

   The appointees are the Rev. John the Baptist Shim Sang-tae, Director of Korean Christian Thought Institute and professor at Catholic University of Suwon, the Rev. Peter Byeon Gi-young, pastor of Cheonjinam Parish and Chairman of the Shrine Committee of the diocese, and the Rev. Peter Lee Jeong-un, Episcopal Vicar for Religious of the diocese and professor at Catholic University of Suwon.

   The Most Rev. Paul Choi Duk-ki, Bishop of Suwon, said, "These priests have all made great contributions to the Church. Monsignor Shim has been dedicated to the education of younger scholars and to the inculturation of theology while Monsignor Byeon has worked for the development of shrines and the study of history of the early Church in Korea. Monsignor Lee has played an important role in education and in the development of religious institutes."

● Bishop of Incheon Issues Directives on Eucharistic Adoration

   On August 1, 2005, the Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san, Bishop of Incheon, issued Directives on Eucharistic Adoration for the priests in his diocese and warned against erroneous practices regarding the administration of Holy Communion to the sick.

   "Although Canon Law provides that in case of necessity extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion can bring the Most Blessed Sacrament to the sick, we cannot regard it as a case of necessity for some pastors in parishes to allow religious to do this in their place." Therefore, "Even though it takes more time, pastors and parochial vicars in parishes are supposed to personally administer Holy Communion to the sick," Bishop Choi explained in the Directives.

   In regard to Eucharistic adoration, he recalled Canon 943 of the Code of Canon Law which stipulates that "The minister of exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of eucharistic benediction is a priest or deacon." He added, "There may be exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and eucharistic benediction either with the pyx or with the monstrance, but imposition of hands by taking the Blessed Sacrament out of the monstrance is prohibited."

   Regarding the moving of the Blessed Sacrament, he said, "Even a lay person who has received the right to distribute the Most Blessed Sacrament as an extraordinary minister must not move the Most Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle. The opening and closing of the tabernacle should belong only to a priest or deacon."

● Uijeongbu Diocese Launches Internet TV Broadcasting Service

   The Diocese of Uijeongbu started a Catholic Internet TV broadcasting service named UTV on June 24, 2005. This first attempt by a diocese in Korea opens new horizons for cyber-mission.

   With the mottos of 'Beautiful eyes looking at the world' and 'A path opened to the beautiful world,' UTV is planning to send news about social affairs from the Catholic point of view and to provide various education, social welfare and culture programs. Especially this year, UTV will launch a campaign for child cancer patients and their families and offer intensive reports about them. In addition, UTV will provide various informative programs about Korean paper art, beads and ceramics along with health-care programs.

   Since a test broadcast on March 19, 2005, UTV has been broadcasting live for 5 hours a day and plans to do so for the next two years, so that the faithful can have up-to-the-minute information and live liturgy programs.

   UTV will also run a 'Catholic UTV Academy' to increase the participation of the laity who have an interest in video journalism and want to learn how to be a video journalist. In this way UTV will actively engage in the formation of the lay apostolate for the information age. UTV opened the first Catholic UTV Academy on April 4, 2005 and is now receiving applications for the second one.

   The Rev. John Choi Sung-woo, the director of Public Relations and the Computerization Department of the Diocese of Uijeongju, explained that "UTV has the merit of interactive communication and ubiquitous accessibility which the existing media lack." He added that "UTV will be a broadcasting station with the warmth of the heart of Jesus Christ spreading the story of the poor and the weak and comforting broken hearts."

● Bishops Issue Messages for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

   On the occasion of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary and the National Liberation Day of Korea on August 15, 2005, the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, the Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyok-ju, Bishop of Andong, and the Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Bishop of Daejeon, issued messages. They called on the faithful to pray for the unification of Korea, to promote the pro-life campaign, and to live Christian life following the example of Mary.

   Archbishop Cheong said in the message titled "For a New Start of the Korean People - Peace Be with You!", "On the occasion of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary and the 60th anniversary of national liberation, today, we sincerely hope for the genuine liberation of people and true peace. We should pray to God that we may overcome the wounds of division with the grace of God and advance towards reconciliation and unification."

   Bishop Kwon, in his message titled "St. Mary, the Woman of Grace," thanked God for his grace in protecting and guiding the Korean people and he expressed the hope that all could be born anew in God. He also said, "If we totally entrust our daily life to God, following the example of St. Mary, the woman of grace, we can anticipate the joy of blessed salvation even in this world."

   Bishop You also issued a message titled "For the Community of Communion" and called on the faithful to pray for the right to life and religious freedom of the North Korean brethren and for the evangelization of Asia. He also stressed that as the Church explicitly opposes embryonic stem cell research, the faithful should support adult stem cell research as a safer alternative.

● Catholic Hospital Opened in North Korea with Assistance of the Catholic Church in Korea

   On August 5, 2005, the Rason International Catholic Hospital was opened in Rason, Hamgyeongbuk-do, North Korea. The hospital was built with the assistance of the International Cooperation of Catholic Medical Service, a cooperative activity of the Congregation of St. Ottilien of the Benedictine Order (President: Abbot Primate Notker Wolf, O.S.B.) and the Catholic Church in Korea.

   Built as a three-story building on a 25,000 sq. meter plot of land with a total floor space of 8,000 sq. meters, this general hospital is equipped with medical facilities for diagnosis and treatment and has 100 beds and 80 doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

   Abbot Primate Notker Wolf said, "Catholic hospitals give hope for peace and cooperation. I hope that this hospital also can pave a way for further cooperation."

   The Most Rev. Paul Ri Moun-hi, Archbishop of Daegu, who laid the foundation for this Catholic hospital told the Catholic Times, "It is a happy occasion that with the concern and assistance of the Church a hospital can open in North Korea. The effort of the Catholic Church for the reconciliation and unity of the two Koreas is a very important mission not only for the Korean people but also for the peace of all humanity."

● South and North Korean Catholics Pledge Collaboration for National Unification during Joint Liberation Day Festivities

   On the occasion of joint Liberation Day festivities which were held in Seoul from August 14 to 17, 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of national liberation from Japanese colonial rule, South and North Korean Catholics met and made a resolution to work together for reconciliation and unity of Korean people.

   The four days of festivities featured various events, such as South-North football games, North Korean delegation's visits to historic sites and a meeting for the compilation of an unabridged Korean dictionary. In particular, the North Korean delegation made unprecedented visits to the National Assembly and to the state cemetery.

   This was considered a milestone in improving the South-North Korean relationship.

   Meetings of each religious delegation were arranged on the third day of the festivities, where South Korean Catholics could talk with the North Korean Catholic delegation which included Mr. Paul Kang Ji-young, Vice Chairperson of the Association of North Korean Catholics, and Ms. Catherine Ri San-ok, President of the Catholic Women's Association in North Korea.

   Mr. Kang said in his address, "I am so pleased because things we could not even imagine before are now taking place. Since the faith knows no boundaries or nationality, I feel it is the burden of the cross for us believers to fulfill our responsibilities and mission toward the nation."

   During the talk, the South Korean delegation expressed regret that there is still no permanent priest in North Korea. To this, Mr. Kang did not give an immediate answer but he suggested that South and North Korean Catholics offer Mass together at Geumgang Mountain.

   The Rev. Paul Han Jeong-gwan, Secretary of the CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, emphasized that both South and North Korean Catholics should make more efforts to deepen mutual understanding. He added, "We hope that programs and plans can be made to activate dialogue and to advance the residence of a priest in North Korea."



News in Brief

 - Mr. John Bosco Sohn Byeong-du, the president of the Lay Apostolate Council of Korea, was appointed on June 27, 2005 as the first lay president of Sogang University established by the Society of Jesus in 1960. Mr. Sohn said, "I will make Sogang University a place of formation for men and women to be talented enough for the age of globalization with my experiences as CEO."

 - On August 17, 2005, the Seoul Senatus of the Legion of Mary (Spiritual Director: Rev. John Youn Byeong-gil, Group Director: Mr. Gregory Paeng Jong-seop) held a congress to mark its 50th anniversary and resolved to renew its spirit and to become agents of evangelization. Held with the theme "Living the Year of Eucharist along with Mary," the congress featured various events, such as a procession, the recitation of the rosary, a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary and the celebration of Mass.

 - The Society of Jesus in Korea celebrated its 50th anniversary at Sogang University in Seoul on Sep. 1, 2005. Fr. Peter-Hans Kolbenbach, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, attending the ceremony with 1,400 invited guests, officially announced that the Society of Jesus in Korea was promoted to be the 82nd province of the Society of Jesus. The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-Suk, Archbishop of Seoul, said, "The Society of Jesus in Korea has contributed much to spirituality and mission in Korea, in addition to its educational engagement."

 - The Military Ordinariate in Korea published a special catechism fitting for the trends and mentality of the young catechumens who are doing their military service. The catechism, titled "Closer and Closer," summarizes Catholic doctrines into eight categories, such as God and man, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church, the liturgy of the Mass, the Sacred Scriptures, Prayer and the Sacraments. It was published in a size handy for carrying.

 

 

 

The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea

The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea 39, 40

Saint Simon Marie Antoine Just Ranfer De Bretenières, Priest (1838-1866)

   Father De Bretenières was born in Châlonsur-Saone, France on February 28, 1838, the son of Judge De Bretenières (Baron) and his wife Anne who were not only good Catholics but also did many charitable works. They were interested in giving religious education and discipline to their children. Consequently, young De Bretenières had an ardent desire to become a foreign missionary in China from the time he was three years old. He also expressed the desire to his brother and to his parish priest that he wanted to become a martyr.

   In 1859 De Bretenières entered St. Sulpice Seminary in Paris. He was loved and admired by everyone around him. In September of 1861 he moved to the seminary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. One of his friends admired him so much that he said De Bretenières would become a saint even without martyrdom. In May of 1864 he was ordained a priest.

   Father De Bretenières wanted to go to Korea very much. Three other young priests were assigned to Korea with him. They were reportedly very happy to be able to go with Father De Bretenières.

   When they reached Hong Kong, their assignments were officially announced. They were supposed to go to Manchuria to wait for a chance to enter Korea. On October 28, 1864 they arrived at a seaport in Manchuria and waited for six months for a Korean boat to take them to Korea. While they were waiting there, they studied the Chinese language.

   In May of 1865, Chinese sailors took the missionaries to Baengnyeong-do on the west coast of Korea, where they stayed for 20 days. Since the boats Bishop Berneux sent for the missionaries did not reach the island, they moved with all their luggage to a tiny Korean sailboat. After much suffering from storms on an open deck, they arrived at Naepo in Chungcheong-do on May 27, 1865.

   It was hard for them to contact Bishop Berneux in Seoul. However, Bishop Daveluy, who had hidden himself in Naepo after his house was burnt down, helped the new missionaries to find their way. Father De Bretenières met Bishop Berneux in Seoul, and later settled down at the home of catechist Cheong Ui-bae to study the Korean language until the end of February of 1866. Soon Father De Bretenières started his ministry. He heard about 80 confessions and baptized more than 40 adults. He also administered Confirmation and the Sacrament of the Sick.

   On February 23, 1866 Father De Bretenières heard that Bishop B

List of Articles
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CBCK Newsletter No.62 (Spring 2008)

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CBCK Newsletter No.61 (Winter 2007)

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CBCK Newsletter No.60 (Fall 2007)

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CBCK Newsletter No.59 (Summer 2007)

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CBCK Newsletter No.58 (Spring 2007)

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CBCK Newsletter No.57 (Winter 2006)

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CBCK Newsletter No.56 (Fall 2006)

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CBCK Newsletter No.55 (Summer 2006)

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CBCK Newsletter No.54 (Spring 2006)

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CBCK Newsletter No.53 (Winter 2005)

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CBCK Newsletter No.52 (Fall 2005)

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CBCK Newsletter No.51 (Summer 2005)

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CBCK Newsletter No.50 (Spring 2005)

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CBCK Newsletter No.49 (Winter 2004)

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CBCK Newsletter No.48 (Fall 2004)

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