From the Editor:
Korean Catholic Church toward 3rd Millennium·...
In response to the call of His Holiness Pope John Paul II in his encyclical the "Gospel of Life'v published on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, at their 1995 Spring Assembly General, decided to establish a "Day for Life" on the last Sunday of May. Inspired by the Holy Father' s concern about the value of human life, the Korean Catholic Church that has endeavored faithfully for the pro-life movement is invited to enter a new era in her commitment to it. .
Most Rev. Paul Ri Moun-hi, President of the CBCK and Bishop of the Archdiocese of Taegu, promulgated on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1995, the Pastoral Directory of the Catholic Church in Korea with the approbation of the Holy See. It became effective as of June 4, 1995, Pentecost Sunday. Accordingly the new Pastoral Directory of the Catholic Church in Korea which is local canon law of the Catholic Church in Korea will serve as the standard of all pastoral ministry. The
Catholic Church in Korea has progressed continually since the Second Vatican Council and seeks to show her unity by protecting and encouraging the pastoral ministry through the new Pastoral Directory which corresponds to the local reality and reflects the Schemata of the Pastoral Congress for the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in Korea, including the new Codex Iuris Canonici.
Social concerns and solidarity of the Korean Catholic Church for the poor and alienated in modem society, such as the handicapped, farmers and laborers, causes her to commit herself to protect their human rights and improve the human condition. The resolute action of the clergy of the Seoul Archdiocese and other dioceses across the nation which was triggered by the incident of the police intrusion into Myondong Cathedral on June 6 to arrest labor union leaders of the Korean Telecom is a good example of this commitment. (see page 5) In this regard, Cardinal Kim did not hesitate to denounce the government and he said that "the police intrusion trampled on lofty moral integrity with brute physical orce." He deplored that a shelter for "powerless and fugitive people no longer exists as a result of the police intrusion."
The Church' s concern for the reunification of Korea and mission to North Korea is increasing as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation from the Japanese colonial rule and division of the nation. Recently, the Korean government
officially allowed four Korean priests to visit North Korea for the first time since the Korean War. Some time ago, Stephen Cardinal Kim expressed his desire to visit the faithful in North Korea. We pray that our dream for reunification is realized
in the near future. We invite all our CBCK Newsletter readers to join our prayer for peace and reconciliation of Korea. Thank you.
Msgr. Dionysius Paik Nam-ik
Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea
1995 Spring General Assembly of the CBCK
March 20-24 the CBCK held its 1995 Spring General Assembly at the CBCK Conference Room in Seoul with the participation of the 18 Bishops from 14 dioceses and Military Ordinate. A session of the Bishops with delegates of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men Religious and the Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women in Korea was held before the regular meeting. The Bishops invited two experts on nuclear science and the national reunification problem and heard their presentations: Mr. Park Keung-shik, a former Science and Technology 'Minister, spoke on the question of nuclear development in North Korea and of providing the light-water reactor to North Korea, and Mr. Ku Bon-tae, head officer of the Reunification Ministry, spoke about the govemment position concerning. national reunification.
Among important decisions taken during the Assembly were the promulgation of the Pastoral Directory of the Catholic
Church in Korea and approval of the Directory for Priestly Formation in Korea including setting up the Catholic Electronic Information Network.
The Pastoral Directory of the Catholic Church in Korea was promulgated on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1995 and became effective as of June 4th, Pentecost Sunday. The new Pastoral Directory contains 256 Directives, has a total of 197 pages and is divided into 6 parts: the People of God; Liturgy and Sacraments; Pastoral Care; Missions and Associations of the Faithful; Society and provisions of Korean Civil Law relating to Canon Law. The Pastoral Directory is the revised version of the Directorum Commune Coreae of 1931 and is the first Pastoral Directory in the world approved by the Holy See as the local canon law of a mission country in accordance with the new "Codex Iuris Canonici"' published in 1983. Message on the 15th Sunday for the Handicapped All members of the Catholic Church in Korea have an obligation of conscience to observe this from the date it becomes effective.
The Bishops agreed on the establishment of a "Day for
Life" which was proposed by Cardinal An~elo Sodano, the Secretary of State. The new translation of the 'Order of Mass" that is adapted to modern language was passed.
As follow up to the decision of the Bishops to introduce an electronic communication network system, Most Rev. Paul Kim, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul Archdiocese and President of the Vicar Generals' Conference formed on April 25 the Catholic Pastoral Administration Development Committee in order to implement the project. Msgr. Dionysius Paik Nam-ik, Secretary General of the CBCK, was appointed as President and the Chancellors of each diocese as committee members. The newly launched Committee will work with a number of experts and computer operators.
The estimates of the project amount to 2 billion won (USD $26,143,792.(0) over all of which 500 million won (USD
$653,594.(0) will be spent in the first year, to develop a system that will provide information on parish registry records, sacramental documents, church statistics and other basic information including development of new programs and a master plan. The cost will be shared by the dioceses. The committee envisions the system to be completed in four years if there are no major obstacles.
For an effective pastoral administration of a growing Church and for fruitful evangelization, an integrated electronic
communication system is considered vital and decisive to the development of the Church in Korea in our present era of expanded communication technology.
Message on the 15th Sunday for the Handicapped
Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan ofSeoul Archdiocese, on the occasion ofthe 15th Sunday for the Handicappted,
issued a message and invited all Catholics to change their attitude, prejudiced minds and preconceived ideas about
the hpndicapped. 'As members of the societal community, we are to be concerned about other members, especially
those who are considered uselessfrom human standard, " he stressed. The following is the full text ofhis message.
"Prejudice for the Handicapped Should be Ended"
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today we celebrate the 15th Sunday for disabled people. By establishing the Sunday for the Handicapped the Church wanted to enhance the relationship between the Church and handicapped people in the light of the teachings of the Church.
The Sunday for the handicapped is not the only day that the Church spends with a special intention. Ho,wever the Sunday for Handicapped people has a special meaning for the whole Church including clergy and lay people, on the Church level and the individual level as well. When we consider with human love the tenible amount of sufferings the handicapped bear as human beings rather than to regard them simply as people who have mental or physical defects, they are those who suffer for us in modem society. They, however, are rejected and alienated by the indifference of our ociety.
In the prejudices and negative ideas concerning the handicapped,society has isolated them and wants them to live apart from normal people. Through such a cold treatment and prejudices, the handicapped have been marginalized not only as members of society but also disadvantaged regarding educational and religious benefits. On this occasion of the 15th Sunday for the Handicapped we' Catholics are called to examine on past 15 years and make selfevaluation of our attitudes and efforts to approach them and their families. We have to reflect who we are for them. The time of a new challenge for all Catholic faithful and communities in this regard has come!
The Sunday for the Handicapped is not a sentimental day of feeling compassion or pity for handicapped people. Neither is it a day that we feel good about ourselves for not being one of them. Instead, the Sunday for the Handicapped should be an excellent opportunity for us to recognize our ignorance, prejudices, and discriminatory attitudes : a challenge to make a better world for them.
Inconveniences follow when we take concem for other people. However we, as constituent members of society, are obliged to consider others. Otherwise we will become self-centered beings. Jesus said that "when ever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did this for me!" (Mat. 25,40). But we are inclined to do good only to those who are capable. The handicapped are outside of our concern! That is our reality.
Jesus calls us to love those who seem useless from the human point of view. Unfortunately we have to admit that many handicapped have been alienated in the Church. Churches have neither facilities and accommodations for them nor special programs including Sunday schools. Often the handicapped and their families are hurt and isolated in the Church instead encouraged and consoled. It is important to recognize that the non-handicapped and handicapped are equally constituent members of the Church. All handicapped, whether they are Catholics or not, should be welcome in the Catholic Church, for they are our brothers and sisters. They are our family. As the love of God abides in us, let us proclaim love of Christ together with them and for them.
The 15th Sunday for the Handicapped
Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan
Archbishop of Seoul
Message on Prayer Day for the Reconci Iiation and Unity of Nation
Rt Rev. Placid Ri, OSB, the President of the North Korea Evangelization Committee of the CBCK, expressed his concern that our society is afraid ofthe side effects ofreunification rather than being determined to work for it. He said that our society asks for a new start, new courage and new sacrifice for the Jubilee Year of the 50th anniversary of national liberation and the division of Korea. He called on all Korean Catholics to offer sacrifice for North Koreans.
"Transform the Scars of Division into Seed of Reconciliation···"
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
On this special day of prayer for national reconciliation and reunification we pray God to open our hearts to welcome our brothers and sisters of North Korea. We, Catholics are called to tear down the thick wall of 50 years of division by sincere prayer to open the door of faith and love.
In 1992, 3 years ago, the Catholic Church in Korea changed the title of "Prayer Day for the Church in Silence" to "Prayer Day for the Reconciliation and Unity of Nation" in order to make a clear declaration that the North Koreans, separated from us because of ideology and political system, are alive within us as People of God. With this initiative we started to pray Jesus who came to us to bring peace, to make us instrument of peace. We pray that God grants all Koreans of South and North the divine grace of reconciliation and forgiveness by healing the deep hurts and scars of division we carry in our hearts and lives.
45 years ago, at daybreak on June 25, a Sunday, the tragedy of fratricidal war started and it caused about 3 million deaths and 10 million separated families. The scar of the tragedy is so deep that only Korea has not been able to overcome the wall of division of distrust while the whole world is moving towards a springn of reconciliation. Today
we must pray God to transform our scars into seed of reconciliation and make sincere effort to liquidate the past.
St. Paul the Apostle taught us how to become one in Christ. He showed us that the death of Jesus, the Innocent
who offered himself as sacrifice of reconciliation for distrust, conflict and hatred, is the sign of salvation of our pe0ple.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This 50th year of the nationalliberation from the Japenese colonial rule is the Jubilee Year: a year of grace for healing hurts and sufferings, and a divine opportunity to write off each other' s debts. The Jubilee Year is meaningful only when we accept God as our new start. That means for us in celebration of the 50th year of liberation the recovering of our original image shaped in God' s likeness. The recovery of human integrity in the relationship of South and North has to be reached this Jubilee Year.
With the collapse of the Cold War era the foreign yoke and control by outside powers over the division of the Korean peninsular was broken and the task of reunification became ours. A recent survey showed that people are afraid of the side effects of reunification rather than endorsing it, desiring to avoid the burden that will follow the reunification. 1bis attitude is truly antiGospel and anti-Korean, since the true attitude of the Gospel is to share what we have with our neighbors, even if only half of one bean.
A new start demands new courage and new sacrifice. If our desire for reunification is sincere we, the South Koreans whose economy and society are more advanced and open than North Korea's, must make sacrifices. Only then hope for reunification will shine. The ultimate goal of reunification is to 'live together in harmony" . Even though the two sides have had different styles of life for 50 years, we have to respect the differences of each other. The differences can be tansformed into dynamism for reunification and seeds of peace when we make efforts to embrace each other without fears and prejudices. We must pray with burning hearts so that we march on a wide open road toward peace in mutual trust and respect.
June 25, 1995
Rt. Rev. Placid Ri, OSB
North Korea Evangelization
Committee of the CBCK
The Prayer Intentions of the Novena
1st day : Let us repent of our sins of division
2nd day : Let us pray God to heal our hurts of division
3rd day : Let us pray for genuine reconciliation of South and. North
4th day : Let us pray for unity of the divided nation
5th day : Let us pray for the people of North Korea
6th day : Let us pray for the Church in North Korea
7th day : Let us pray for the North Korean mission
8th day : Let us pray for peaceful reunification
9th day : Let us pray for the perfectionoflove
••• New Horizon of Direct Mission to North Korea Dawns •••
A new horizon of Christian mission to North Korea dawned as the South Korean government authorized on May 3rd eight clergymen to visit North Korea. The eight clergymen include four Catholic priests and four Protestant ministers. The
National Unification Board announced that these eight people were given approval to visit NK at th~' invitation of Kim Chang-woo, Chairman of the North Korean Foreign Economic Cooperation Committee. The four Korean priests include Fathers Kim Sang-jin who is studying in Beijing, Kim Young-hwan (Prof. at Hyosong Catholic Univ.), Kim Sok-chwa (Director of the Small Village of Jesus in Masan) and Ahn Kyong-yol (pastor of Panpo Parish in Seoul). During their visit
they will confer with NK authorities on the construction of a 200-bed hospital in Najin-Sonbong, a port city that is being developed as a major free-trade economic zones, while the four Protestant ministers will discuss building churches in the same area.
The government spokesman explained that the government policy is a continual promotion ofeconomic; social, cultural and religious exchanges with NK.
Since the Korean War in 1960 some Korean priests have visited NK, but they were overseas residents.1bis is the first case of a direct visit of priests to NK from South Korea with government authorization and by invitation of NK.
Message on the First 'Day for life'
"Proclaim Gospel of Life"
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At the 1995 Spring General Assembly of the Catholic Bisops' Conference of Korea (March 20-24) it was decided to establish a "Day for Life" on the last Sunday of May. The Day for Life is meant to remind us of the responsibility to realize the culture of life by overcoming the widespread 'culture of death' in the present day in society. Togethe~ we sh?uld strive t<;J promote respect for human life and protect It, love It and serve It by reaftinning the "value and inviolability of life" .
1. Reality of Threat to Human Life
To our great regret, in our time intensity of the threat to human life has increased constantly. Dark reality such as war and confrontations, ethnic cleansing, terrorism, violence, human trafficking, natural catastrophies and accidents have occurred all over the world. Especially abortion and unethical experimentation on the human embryos, sinful and anti-life conduct like euthanasia are expanding with intensity. In Korea alone, 4-5,000 abortions are performed every day. Not only adults but also young people are infected with an anti-life mentality such as drug addictions, inhalation of glue as an intoxicant, and gang crimes are continually increasing.
Our concern is that, in fact, the moral conscience of people has been numbed little by little, and fmally they have come to think that human life is not of great value. The number of people who consider and claim that abortion and euthanasia are right and good things has increased. These people are of the mentality that pursues immediate pleasure and ndividual gain. They value 'possession' more than 'being'. In reality, the legislative body of the Korean government has sought to make abortion legal. Up until now it has been illegal, but the government permits the criminal act of abortion and even encourages it. It is a fact that the task of medical people has been subverted to the extent that they partake in actions which bring about death rather than serving life. All these are consequences flow from loss of consciousness
of God. When we lose a sense of God we lose also consciousness of human beings.
2. Life is a Gift from God
"I have come in order that you niight have life - life in all its fullness" (In 10,10). By these words Jesus tells us about the meaning and goal of his mission on earth. For 2000 years, the Catholic Church has preached this message of Jesus faithfully, holding it in her heart. Human life is a gift form God. Thus it is sacred and inviolable. Life itself is good, for God made human beings in his image and put His spirit in them. The "Gospel of life" is at the heart of the message that Jesus proclaimed. The message is good news of life and the Gospel that Jesus himself proclaimed shed light upon the meaning of life. Nevertheless the sin threatens life by the shadow of death and darkens it by making it doubtful. However the incarnation of Jesus, his passion, and salvation that is achieved in the death and resurrection of Jesus had recovered the value of life by lifting it to the heights of an eternal dimension. God made human beings so that they articipate in his life and offered them abundantly his divine life. Therefore the Church proclaims the Gospel to the poor, humiliated and alienated ones, and those whose life is threatened and human rights abused. The new evangelization demanded by the present day cannot overlook the proclamation of life that is an inviolable right from conception to natural death.
3. Responsibility of All for Life
A grave responsibility to protect the dignity of human life and to fulfill it was entrusted to all human beings. The dignity
and value of human life has to be recognized in family, society and all circumstances. The commandment not to kill is at the heart of the Ten Commandments of God. The direct and voluntary taking of all innocent human life from its conception to natural death are always gravely immoral and sins against God, the Creator of life.
Parents should realize that they are collaborators of life. Likewise medical people should be aware of that they are servants of life. Also, legislators should reaffum that their primary duty is to endeavor to make the legislator body protect human life from its conception to natural death. Law denies law itself when it does not Most Rev. Alexander Sye protect the right to life of people and their human dignity, their basic and fundamental human rights. Also genuine democracy is rooted in human dignity which is on the premise of the right to life. Therefore ''Democracy cannot be defined simply by reference to the principal of the majority but must be characterized by a moral basis of respect for all and especially for the rights of the weakest and the most defenceless, those who have no voice and no vote" (cf. Evangelium Vitae).
4. Mission to Create Culture of Life
The Church has the mission to proclaim and celebrate the gift of life and to serve it. The primary task of the Church is to
ensure that the Gospel of life reaches the heart of every human being and that it fmds its way into the hidden recesses of the whole of society. The task of Church on behalf of life is fulfilled through the service of charity that starts in the family. The family is the sanctuary of life in which life is welcomed, nourished, brought up and supported, and taken care of in sickness. Also, a very special task is entrusted to women, who are particularly close to the mystery of life, who are called to be its guardians and to reveal its fruitfulness when that task matures into relationships marked by unselfish giving and willing service(cf. Evangelium Vitae). We should endeavor to promote a "culture of life" so that a genuine cultural transformation can be created beginning in the family and extending to all of society. The culture of life entails a "new life style" that respects the dignity of all individuals, especially poor and powerless people, and accepts the
mysterious meaning of suffering and death.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are people of life and for life. The coming year 2000 is the Grand Jubilee Year that celebrates the 2000th anniversary of the Incarnation of Our Savior. As we prepare for the Grand Jubilee Year, we should endeavor to follow closer Our Lord of life. After the example of Mary, ''Mother of life" , we must say a joyful ''yes'' to the call of Our Lord to dedicating ourselves to the service of life. We all should work hard to create a culture of life and for the recovery of human dignity in a sincere reflection of our wrong doings of the past.
Thus we pledge as follows;
1) to repent profoundly, first of all, our own misdeeds that violated life;
2) to communicate widely the dignity and value of life which is inviolable human right and bear witness them in our lives;
3) to educate youth to respect life in their families, church and school; and
4) to commit ourselves actively to the protection of life in accordance with our capability and position.
Most Rev. AlexanderSye
Family Pastoral Committee of the CBCK
"Catholic Church Condemns Police Intrusion into Myongdong Cathedral"
A Strong Option for the Powerless and the Church's United Action
For the first time in the 97 years of history of the Myongdong Cathedral and Catholic Church in Korea, the government
sent police troops into the Church without prior permission from the Catholic leadership and arrested labor activists who were engaged in a sitin protest. The incident occurred while six Korea Telecom union leaders staged a sit-in protest for two weeks on the grounds of the Myongdong Cathedral to demonstrate their defiance against the government' s policy
to open the telecommunications market to foreign service providers, to transfer the company·to large conglomerates and to limit the wage increase rate to under 3%. At .the same time seven other union leaders engaged in a sit-in demon~
stration at Chogyesa Buddhist Temple in downtown Seoul for the same reason. Armed police troops invaded both the Cathedral and the Temple on June 6 and arrested all the union leaders under charges of "state subversion" . Two days later they invaded again and clubbed students and Catholics who were having a prayer meeting on the ground of the Cathedral for the arrested unionists.
200 priests of the Seoul Archdiocese held an emergency meeting on June 8 and Cardinal Kim summoned an emergency meeting of the Council of Priests on June 9. At both meetings the priests issued strong statement condemning the police intrusion into the Cathedral as a grave "desecration" of sanctuary and a challenge to Church authorities.
As thousands of faithful attended Sunday Mass, Cardinal Kim expressed his deep anger to the Kim Young-am government over the incident. He said that "police intrusion trampled on lofty moral integrity with brute physical force." He continued : "I feel surprise and deep sorrow that the government resorted to intimidation, especially at a time when the Church was acting as a mediator between the government and the union leaders." He noted that Myongdong Cathedral had never demanded or claimed to be an extraterritorial area but that Myongdong Cathedral has become a sort of 'social sanctuary' owing to the conscience and moral strength of those many people who are concerned for social justice and human love. The Cardinal deplored, particularly, that a shelter for "powerless and fugitive people no longer exists," as a
result of the police violation. "I do not want to see frictions and tension persist long between the government and the
Church, but I will monitor the government' s behavior over the matter in the days to come," he wamed.
Meanwhile the dioceses of Kwangju, Ch' ongju and Wonju issued their own statements and began diocesan level actions. 65 priests of Wonju staged a hunger protest while a group of priests and lay people took part in a day and riight sit-in at the Cathedral. The emergency ad hoc committee of priests led a week-long prayer meeting from June 9 to 13. Actions included two Masses at 3 and 8pm at the cathedral followed by candle light marches, ringing the cathedral bell 44 times for 3 weeks ; a "funeral bell" to announce "death of the Kim Young-sam government regarding morality, conscience and respect for people" ; and the expression of the strong will of the Church to march together with suffering and powerless people in society and to symbolize that the last shelter of weak and fugitive people in our society was invaded by the powerful.
All 175 churches in the Seoul archdiocese announced the Church' s position. On June 12 in Myongdong Cathedral
1,000 religious leaders (300 catholics, 300 protestants, 300 Buddhists and 100 from dissident circles) along with other dissidents issued a statement on the police intrusion into the religious domain and demanded that the Kim Young-sam government make an immediate apology and punish those directly responsible. The 1000 signers and thousands of people marched from Chogyesa Temple to Myongdong Cathedral on June 13. ''Myongdong Cathedral and Chogyesa Temple have been a shelter of those suppressed and powerless people who don' t know where to go and to whom to appeal. They played in time of struggle for democracy of Korea the irreplaceable role of windpipe that prevented people
from suffocation. The Kim government stopped up this last and unique "windpipe' of powerless ones," the statement read.
On June 13 at 7pm some 20,000 Catholics and 600 priests from 14 dioceses across the nation rallied at the Cathedral during a Mass to "Restore the Sanctuary of Church".
It was the first time in eight years that a public Mass for a political issue was held at the Cathedral.
The statement said that "People need minimum geographical sanctuary in order to protect their spiritual domain. This tradition has been maintained during the 2000 years of history of the Catholic Church and the 97 years of history of the Myongdong Cathedral despite exceptional cases of violation by immoral and unjust powers in the world. During the great democratization struggle in the 1970s and 1980s Myongdong Cathedral became a shelter for those struggling for democracy and freedom, students, workers, and urban poor who need protection in order
to make their voices heard and to restore their energy. Myongdong Cathedral became a historical site for democratization. As matter of fact the current civilian government was born from there. Even the most dictatorial military
regime respected this sanctuary."
• News, from the Church in Korea _
• 72 New Priests and 53 Deacons to be Ordained
In June and July 72 new priests and 53 deacons will be ordained in four dioceses. The dioceses and number of new
priests and deacons are the following: Archdiocese of Seoul: 34 priests ; Archdiocese of Taegu: 10 priests and 7 deacons; diocese of Ch' ongju: 9 priests and 8 deacons; Suwon diocese: 2 priests; diocese of Andong: 3 priests and
3 deacons; Society of Jesus: 5 priests; Salesians: 3 priests and 3 deacons. With the 54 newly ordained priests in Jan. and Feb. the total number of the new priests in 1995 is 130.
• Korean Catholics in the US Visit North Korean Church
For the fIrst time since the Korean War in 1950, a group of South Korean Catholics in the US visited North Korean Catholics in Pyongyang and prayed together at Changchung Church on April 23, the 2nd Sunday after Easter. The visiting team from the New York area headed by Rev. Joseph Ahn Sang-in was warmly welcomed by Catholics upon their arrival
at the Changchung Church. An oral message and the warm greetings of Cardinal Kim were conveyed to NK Catholics. "With all my heart I pray to God every day for all of you, the Catholic faithful in North Korea.Deep in my heart, I pray for
God's abundant blessing upon you and your loved ones. it is my deep desire to come to visit you in person one day,"
the message read. The visitors participated in the Sunday prayer service at Changchung Church presided by Yulio
Ch' a Sung-gun(44). In his welcoming address Ch' a asked them to convey a sincere message to Cardinal Kim and
South Korean Catholics and how eager they are to have an ordained priest. 'We want the South Korean Catholics to understand our difficult situation and our efforts to maintain the faith without a priest for 45 years." The visitors offered
them rosaries and prayer books as gifts.
• Orthodox Church Leader Ba rtho Iomew Meets Cardinal Kim
The Patriarch of the Orthodox Eastern Church met Cardinal Kim at Myongdong Cathedral on April 8 during his 5-day visit to Korea to get a first-hand look at the Korean mission of the Orthodox and to hold ecumenical talks with Christian leaders. It is the fIrst time that a top prelate of the Orthodox Church visited Korea in the l00-year history of the Orthodox mission to Korea. Patriarch Bartholomew is the Archpatriarch who represnts the Eastern Orthodox Church which inculdes the Greek and Russian patriarchates. On April 10, he celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St.Nicholas Orthodox Church in Mapo, Seoul, for thousands of Orthodox believers in Korea. The Orthodox mission to Korea was founded in 1900 when St. Nicholas Church opened in Chog-dong by a priest who came to Korea to minister Russian Orthodox believers living in Seoul. Patriarch Bartholomew I meets Cardinal Kim
• Cardinal J. Shin of Mani la Visits Korea
Card. J. Shin of the Archdiocese of Manila visited Korea on April 26 for four days and met Card. Kim in Myongdong Cathedral. They shared signifIcant time of exchange of thoughts and concerns of their respective Churches. To the great joy of 25,000 Filipinos in Korea, most of them employed as labors at apparel makes, the Cardinal met and encouraged them, and celebrated Mass for them. He visited Kengsaengwon and Boy's Town, orphanages founded by the late Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz, a 1984 Magsaysay Awards winner. He went to Pusan at the invitation of an orphanage for boys run by the Sisters of Mary. The congregation of Sisters of Mary has been working for mission to the Philippines.
• Cathol ics' Concern for Human Rights
The 16 delegates members of lawyers and priests of the Catholic Human Rights Committee of Seoul visited the Justice Ministry of March 16. They met Park Hui-tae, Chief of the Legislation and Judiciary Committee and asked him bring to the floor of the National Assembly the case of political prisoners who are arrested in connection with 'fabricated espionage conspiracies and solve those issues at the National Assembly level. 'We urge you to set up a special investigation committee because our 2year experience of investigation show us that there are several hundreds of innocent people who have been arrested and imprisoned as victims of fabricated espionage cases," they said.
The Human Rights Committee has fIve Bishops as advisory. members : Bishops Victorinus Yon of Kwangju, Vmcent Ri of Chonju, Gabriel Lee of Pusan, Paul Kim of Chaeju and Ignatius Pak of Andong.
On May 20 Bishop Paul Kim of Chaeju visited Lee Jang-hyong in Andong Prison who is serving a life prison term under the charge of alleged espionage. The ''Bishop' s visit is a symbolic event which confIrms the innocence of Lee Jang-hyong", the media commented. Following Bishop Kim, Archbishop Victorinus Youn announced his plan to visit some
prisoners in the near future. The committee alleges that at least 28 people are in prison under false charges.
• One Heart One Body Movement expand Organ Donation Program
The One Heart One Body Movement of Seoul Archdiocese decided to introduce a new department of organ donation,
including bone marrow and human cadavers in addition to the presen't eyeball and blood donation departments.
The Organ and Tissue Donation movement in Korea began in 1991 and has grown into a full-scale civic campaign. This year alone, 1,221 signed up to donate their organs or bodies after there cerebral death according to the source. Among them there are Cardinal Kim, Reps. Park Chan-jong, TV actors and even gangsters in prison. Religious people are still the main contributors but they are joined more and more frequently by ordinary citizens, in particular the young and highly educated.
• Foreign Workers' Festival at Myongdong Cathedral
The Foreign Workers' s Counseling Offices of Seoul and Inchon held a joint festival for foreign workers in Korea on Apr. 23 at Myongdong Cathedral. The Lotte Welfare Foundation donated plentiful food for the festival. Over 1,000 workers from Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Iran, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Indonesia participated in the event and had enjoyable time.
At the event Bishop Choi Changmu pointed out that "Korean cannot mistreat foreign workers because they are important contributors to the development of Korea. Koreans were in the same situation in the past in Germany, Saudi Arabia and America. Foreign workers are our guests to whom we have to offer hospitality." The festival was highlighted by cultural presentations by participating migrant workers.
• Korean Cathol ics Fight Unfair Trade PoIicy
The Headquarters of the Save Our Farm Movement (Dir. :Rev. Kim Sungoh) launched a nationwide campaign starting May II to oppose the unfair trade policy of "clearance fIrst, inspection later" that the Korean government adopted under trade pressure from the US.
Bishop Ignatius Pak of Andong and about 30 priest delegates from dioceses across the nation attended the meeting.
36 Civic Organizations, including the Catholic leading farm campaigns of Save-Our-Farm and Save-Our-Wheat Movements on May 19 across the nation, a solidarity movement to cope with "unfair" US pressures in trade disputes
and to urge the government to reenforce regulations regarding sanitary inspections of imported foods. The activists
launched a campaign to boycott imported foods to repel Washington' s increasing demands for implementation of a
"clearance fIrst, inspection later" process.
The Solidarity of Consumers and Farmers for the Safety of Imported Foodstuffs stated: "We have to protect the safety of our dining room tables and our lives against the influx of hazardous foreign products. We must put an end to a repetition of unfair trade pressure from Washington and our government's shameful concession to it."
The project actions include neither purchasing nor eating foodstuffs imported from the US, not to visit Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald's, Weedy' s or Pizza Hut franchises, making phone calls to the US Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
• Two Criminals on Death Row Baptized
On May 12, Bishops Andrew Choi Chang-mu conferred the sacraments of baptism and confIrmation on Kim Kiwhan
and Moon Sang-ralc, who were sentenced to the death penalty for murdering fIve people last September. The Church can confer simultaneously the sacraments of baptism and confIrmation to those under capitlli punishment. Kim and Moon started religious instruction with help of the Pastoral Committee for Social Correction last December. Since then they often have written to friends and expressed their utmost desire to serve human fellows and society if time and opportunity be allowed to them.
• 16 Swindled Mongol ian Citizens Get Money Back
The 16 Mongolian citizens who staged a sit-in protest at Myongdong Cathedral could return to their country Apr. 28 thanks to Ms. Maria Choo llwha(59) who offered them USD $168,781.00 through Rev. Chang Dukpi! in Myongdong. The 16 protesters claimed they were swindled by a Koran broker, a certain Chung, who defrauded them of USD $170,129.00 when they came to Korea to look for a job. They fIled suit against Chung in the Inch' on district public prosecutors' office and began a sit-in protest on Apr. 11 at Myongdong Cathedral. At hearing the shameful story, Ms. Choo did not hesitate
to offer them the equivalent sum of money that was swindled by Chung. For most of them, this was their fIrst contact
with the Catholic Church but all of them expressed their deep respect for the Christian act of charity and said that they felt that the ground of Myongdong Cathedral is "clean and holy." "Catholics allowed us to express our anger and frustration when police threatened by warning us not to do such a thing!" they said.
News in Brief
• Ch' angwon Parish opened a Counseling Office for Foreign Workers on March 12 and will provide one Sunday Mass in English for them. Ch' angwon is one of the most developed industrial zone in Korea.
• Rev. Lee Kyong-jae, the founder and director of St. Lazarus Village, was honored by receiving the 5th Hoam Prize for social service. Rev. Lee was chosen for the Prize for his unlimited dedication for Hansen' s disease patients for 30 years. Many charitable activities he has undertaken include the creation of the village, a medical service and a pennanent system of assistance. Rev. Lee, one of six recipients, was the,first Catholic priest to receive the Hoam Prize.
• Two Sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of M,~, Sr. Silvian No Mi-hae and Sr. Lugalda Choi Yon-hui, departed for China on mission on May 27. They will have some preparation time in Hong Kong before they go to their mission post in China.
• "The One Heart, One Body Movement" of the Seoul Archdiocese donated USD $38,961 for the Church in Vietnam on April 28. In March, the Archdiocese donated 70 computers and USD $68,700. • World revered Vietnamese Buddhist meditation monk Thich Nhat Hanh (68), poet and peace activist, was invited to a inter-religious dialogue at the Christian AcadeIPY House in Seoul and spoke on "Peace activism by reli$ious people and the global environment during his 10day visit to Korea.
• The family which defected from North Korea last November, Yo Man-ch' 01(49), Francisco, and his wife Lee Okkeum(46), were baptized at Soo-gungdong Church in Seoul on Easter Sunday. ''we feel like new born children and are overwhelmed by joy to be reborn as children of God," they said.
• April 7, Sr. Dimedes Meffert(86), OSB, was one of 244 who were hOnored for their contributions to the .improvement of public health. As one of the three awardees honored with the Moran Medal, a coveted government citation, she was recognized for her 46 years of devoted service to the sick and the needy.
• The Preparation Committee for the 46th International Eucharistic Congress in Wroclaw, Poland, held its preparation meeting in Rome, May 15-18, and conveyed an official invitation to the CBCK through Msgr. Dionysius Paik Nam-ik, Secretary General of the CBCK, who attended the meeting.