CBCK Newsletter

 CBCK Newsletter


CBCK Newsletter No.76 (Fall 2011)

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From the Editor
2011 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK
Message for the 16th Farmers' Sunday
Message for the Month of Mission 2011
Message Protesting the Construction of a Naval Base at Gangjeong Village in Jeju Island
Message for the 44th Military Mission Sunday
Christian Conscience Says 'No' to the Construction of a Naval Base on Jeju Island
News from the Church in Korea
The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea






 From the Editor:



Christian Answer to a Competitive Society


Nowadays we are witnessing the so-called "K-pop" (Korean popular music) fever spreading out through many countries around the world. In the heat of the K-pop, TV programs featuring singing contests such as "Super Star Korea", "MBC Star Audition", and "I am a Singer" are enjoying great popularity in Korea. TV channels are inundated with such competitive programs reflecting our society of aggressive competition.

We can witness a similar competitive fever in the arena where many youths are provided with education. Annually, only 1.4% of high-school graduates can make it into the so-called "SKY universities." (SKY is an acronym for the three most prestigious universities in Korea: Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University). On top of that, only 7.4% of them can gain admission into a university in Seoul, the capital city of Korea. Nevertheless, parents drive their children into the fierce competition for entrance into a top university, paying no attention to their son or daughter's unique dream and aptitude.

Last spring a series of awful tragedies took place in a prestigious university where many bright young students flock together to study very hard. Some students there committed suicide because they could not stand the stress resulting from the severe competition for better grades. During the season of college scholastic ability tests, the so-called "fifth season" in Korea, we often see some students who eventually make the extreme decision, i.e. suicide.

Experts say that all the members of an overly competitive society are driven to become aggressive as they are tormented with the fear of dropping out of the competition and suffer from an inferiority complex that makes them doubt their ability.

While making their pilgrimage to eternity Christians must suffer from moral and ethical conflicts because they are also driven to competition in society.

The heat of competition was already felt by Jesus's contemporaries as well, though it was quite different in kind and method from that of today. Near a pool called Bethesda in Hebrew (cf. Jn 5,1-18), there was a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years but never lost his hope for a cure. Even though he was not able to do anything by himself, he did not dare to leave the place. It seemed to be both a vain and pitiful hope that he would be the first one to jump into the pool when the water was stirred up.

Then, Jesus came and said to the sick man who could not leave the arena of competition, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk" (Jn 5,8). The first step to be free from the fierce competition is to meet the living Lord in truthfulness. This is one of the most urgent reasons for starting new evangelization in our country.

In a dire society where everybody is swept along in this fierce competition for the unique, the first, the best or the biggest, I have to ask myself how I can live as a true Christian in conformity with the divine will, that is, how I can faithfully practice the words of Jesus Christ: "You are the salt of the earth, and the light of the world" (cf. Mt. 5,13.14). In this regard, I entertain hope that the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2012 will shed light on my question.

Fr. Thaddaeus Lee Ki-rak
Executive Secretary of the CBCK





 2011 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK



The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) held its 2011 Autumn General Assembly at the Conference Hall of the Catholic Conference of Korea (CCK) from October 10 to 12, 2011 and covered the following matters:


1. The bishops unanimously approved the draft of the Korean version of De Institutione Lectorum et Acolythorum (Editio typica, 1972) presented by the CBCK Committee for Liturgy (President: Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo).


2. The bishops unanimously approved the draft of the Korean version of Ritus Apparati a Sacra Congregatione pro Cultu Divino ad Instructionem "Immensae Caritatis" (1973) submitted by the CBCK Committee for Liturgy (President: Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo). The rites are: I. Rite of Commissioning for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, II. Rite of Temporary Deputation for Distributing Holy Communion, III. Rite that the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion Should Observe, IV. Text of the Bible Used for the Rite of Commissioning for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion outside Mass.


3. The bishops deliberated on and approved the Korean version of the Variationes that must be applied to new editions of liturgical books according to the norms of Codex Iuris Canonici (cf. Notitiae 20[1983], pp. 540-555). It was presented by the CBCK Committee for Liturgy (President: Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo), reflecting the opinion of the CBCK Episcopal Commission for Doctrine.


4. After deliberating on the draft of a Korean version of Benedictus Deus, a hymn for benediction of the Blessed

Sacrament submitted by the CBCK Committee for Liturgy (President: Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo), the bishops approved it reflecting the opinions of the Episcopal Commission for Doctrine and the Permanent Council of the CBCK.


5. After deliberation on the request of the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace (President: Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon), the bishops decided to establish "Social Doctrine Week" to be observed beginning this year during the second week of Advent that begins with "Human Rights Sunday."


6. The bishops approved the revised draft of "The Regulations of the Catholic Businessmen's Federation of Korea" which includes a new article on "Dissolution and Allocation" in its bylaws.


7. The bishops approved the revised draft of "The Regulations of the Catholic T.B. Workers' Association of Korea" under the condition that it be amended according to the instructions of the Conference of Diocesan Vicars General.


8. The bishops approved the revised draft of "The Regulations of the Catholic Blind Missions of Korea" which reflected the instructions of the Conference of Diocesan Vicars General.


9. The bishops approved the revised draft of "The Regulations of the Association of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Societies of Korea" which reflected the instructions of the Conference of Diocesan Vicars General.


10. The bishops heard a report on the "plan to compile the New Catholic Hymnal" presented by the CBCK Committee for Liturgy (President: Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo) and agreed with the opinions of the CBCK Episcopal Commission for Doctrine on the revision of lyrics in the New Catholic Hymnal.


11. The bishops heard a report on the revised Korean version of "Vesting Prayers", presented by the CBCK Committee for Liturgy (President: Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo).


12. The bishops heard a report on the preparation of the "Answers of the Catholic Church in Korea to the Questions of Lineamenta for the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops" and decided to submit the answers to the Apostolic See.


13. The bishops heard a report that the collected opinion of the bishops on the revised draft of the "Book VI. Sanctions in the Church" of the CIC will be taken into deliberation by the CBCK Committee for Canonical Affairs, as it was requested by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. After the review by the Permanent Council of the CBCK the opinion will be submitted to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.


14. The bishops heard a report on the meeting of the CBCK Special Episcopal Commission to Promote Beatification and Canonization held on August 24, 2011. The meeting was for the deliberation on the process for the promotion of the beatification and canonization of the Servants of God "Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions" and the Servant of God "Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop." The meeting also delibereated on the process for the beatification of the "Martyrs and Confessors under the Joseon Dynasty" and the "Witnesses to the Faith of the Catholic Church in Korea in the 20th Century."
The bishops asked this Episcopal Commission to prepare a common prayer text for the promotion of the beatification and canonization of both the Servants of God "Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions" and the Servant of God "Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop", or a new prayer text for the Servant of God "Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop".


15. The Most Rev. Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il as the moderator in charge of Health Pastoral Care told the bishops that he will attend the XXVI International Conference hosted by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care on October 23, 2011.


16. The Bishops elected new officers of the CBCK (refer to the official website of the CBCK: www.cbck.or.kr).





 Message for the 16th Farmers' Sunday



"We live with the earth in God"


Dear brothers and sisters,


Today we celebrate the 16th Farmers' Sunday.


In the Book of Genesis we read that God created and blessed human beings and said, "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food" (Gn 1,29). In this regard, we are the ones who cultivate the earth as a divine gift, living together with and taking care of all divinely entrusted creatures. On this Farmers' Sunday, we remember that we are created in the image of God, eating and drinking the bread and wine of life from the earth. We also remember those farmers who live in a most proper way as images created by God and cultivate the bread and wine of life.


Even though God blessed us and entrusted us with the mission to achieve a fulfilled life by sharing with each other equally all the products of the earth (cf. Centesimus Annus, n. 6), the reality of our world is far from the divine will. It is said that almost one billion people in the world are now suffering from starvation. Disasters resulting from ever worsening climate change and the restrictive policies of food exporting countries are among the many reasons for this. Especially, in a neo-liberalistic economic system, the major grain companies and global agriculture conglomerates monopolize the trade of food and even abuse it as an economic weapon thereby causing a more aggravated food situation in poor countries.


The situation of the rural areas and of the food in our country have become a matter of grave concern. Farmland and the rural population continue to dwindle. Now the rural population is 3,067,741 (as of 2009) making up just 6.4% of the total population. The worst problem is very low rate of food self-sufficiency (26.7%), and this is aggravated by the ever decreasing farmland and rural population. This means that three fourths of the Korean people would not be able to secure food for their survival if they had to sustain themselves in case of a global food crisis. In addition to the worsening problems in the rural areas as the basis of "food of life" and the aggravating food shortage, Koreans are also suffering from bad crops because of lack of sunshine as a result of climate change. Moreover, farmers are in a much worse situation because of foot-and-mouth disease, domestic markets open to foreign agricultural products, and the Four Major Rivers Project which seized much farmland.


For a long time the Church has shown her concern for the situation of farmers. In his Encyclical Mater et Magistra, Pope John XXIII affirmed that the farmers must make enough money to keep their families in reasonable comfort and not go bankrupt (cf. n. 143). In his Message for the 2010 World Day of Peace, H.H. Pope Benedict XVI also said that "suitable strategies for rural development centred on small farmers and their families should be explored" (n. 10), as they are now suffering from climate change and environmental disruption.


When the Church shows her concern for our agriculture, rural areas, and the farmers who now face internal and external challenges, she does it not as a favor, but as an act of self-help, because the farmers are practicing the sacred ministry of producing daily food for the lives of all of us in an age of food crisis.


Dear brothers and sisters,


Today, on the occasion of Farmers' Sunday, I would like to stress again the importance of the 'campaign for the rehabilitation of our rural areas'. The urban areas can survive only when the rural areas flourish. The farmers of the "life community" in rural areas provide the faithful in urban areas with safe food for life, taking mutual responsibility for "life" and "living". Therefore, cooperation between rural and urban areas to rehabilitate our rural areas is the way to overcome the food crisis and the problems of the rural areas. Through this movement we can also overcome the problems of land contamination and harmful foods. Furthermore, we can share what we have with one another in evangelical spirit based on trust in our society. When mutual exchange and service between rural and urban areas prevails, our agriculture and rural areas will be rehabilitated and we will all share in the blessings of divine creation and life in abundance.


May the blessing of God, Father of the farmers, be always with all brothers and sisters both in rural and urban areas.

July 7, 2011

+ Matthias Ri Iong-hoon
Bishop of Suwon
CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace





 Message for the Month of Mission 2011 (Summary)



"They may see your good deeds"


In October, 2012, the Bishops from all around the world will come together in Rome to reaffirm in communion with the Holy Father a new start of ecclesiastical history of missionary works under the theme "new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith": evangelization with "renewed enthusiasm, new methods and new means", paying due consideration to the situation of our contemporaries.


The essence of mission-evangelization is by its nature nothing other than the communication and practice of love. Without love, we cannot accomplish true evangelization, even though we are now witnessing an increase in the number of Catholic faithful. St. Paul the Apostle told us, "Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning" (1Cor 1,17).


In his Encyclical Humani Generis Redemptionem (1917) Pope Benedict XV singled out the virtue of St. Paul as an exemplary preacher. He is a model for all preachers of the Gospel because of the content and method of his preaching, as he prepared himself for the preaching of the Gospel with devout prayer and contemplation. We can find this aspect of St. Paul most obviously in the first and second chapters of his first letter to the Corinthians. We have to read and meditate on the Bible to make it clear for all people that baptism and preaching of the Gospel are not separate ministries; but, by its very nature, preaching the Gospel means communicating love.


When we preach the Gospel in such a manner, we first realize the meaning of the words that we are preaching and then we find our lives worth living with joy. We realize that the news we are announcing is nothing but the Good News. When we first experience such a love and share it with others, our words bear witness to love.


Preachers are the light of the world and the salt of the earth making the world brighter and healthier.


"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father" (Mt 5,13-16).

October 23, 2011

+ Vincent Ri Pyung-ho
Bishop of Jeonju
CBCK Committee for Evangelization





 Message Protesting the Construction
 of a Naval Base at Gangjeong Village in Jeju Island (Summary)



Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon, President of the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace and Bishop of Suwon, issued a message protesting the construction of a naval base at Gangjeong Village in Jeju Island on September 15, 2011.


In his message Bishop Ri said, "We believe that the government should apologize for the wrongdoing of the illegal and undemocratic process of decision making when it chose the proposed site for the naval base ignoring the opinion of the local citizens and pushing on with the construction plan." He added, "Especially, we all have to understand the pain of Jeju citizens suffering from the sad and still lingering memory of the 'Jeju April 3 Incident' 60 years ago when about 30,000 innocent citizens were cruelly killed."


He also asked the government, the Ministry of National Defense, and the National Assembly to work together "to stop the construction of the naval base, so that Jeju Island, beloved by all Koreans, can remain forever as a true 'island of world peace.'"


In conclusion Bishop Ri said, "Peace cannot be guaranteed by the production of weapons or the escalation of an arms race. It is just a fabricated hypocrisy to claim that peace will be guaranteed through a balance of arms. We know from our own sad historical experience that everything is going to be destroyed and lost by war."





 Message for the 44th Military Mission Sunday



"In all circumstances give thanks" (1Thes 5,18)


May the blessing of God be with all those soldiers who faithfully carry out their duty for national defence in frontline areas and in rear bases. May God bless also all those who spare no pains to support our soldiers with spiritual and material resources.


In 2011 we have celebrated the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the pastoral care for soldiers in Korea. On this occasion I first of all thank God for the abundant and precious fruit that we have reaped during the last 60 years. I would like also to express my appreciation for the support of the Military Ordinariate in Korea by all the faithful, especially the members of the Korea Catholic Chaplains Support Association, carried out under the guidance and providence of divine love.


The word "thanks" connotes either gratitude or thankfulness in action and the virtue of thanks in my opinion is the greatest fruit of the theological virtue of faith, hope and love. Expressing his gratefulness to each person who helped him with his missionary works, St. Paul the Apostle also urges us to live a life in thankfulness when he says, "be thankful" (Col 3,15). St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, the patroness of missionaries, also invites us to be thankful as she says, "Thankfulness can promote the greatest possible divine blessings. When we thank God for something, He is moved by our thankfulness and He answers quickly with ten times more blessings. Furthermore, when we thank Him with constant sincerity, He will pay back with abundant blessings. I have had personal experience of such blessings."


"We ought to thank God always for you" (2Thes 1,3)


The Military Ordinariate in Korea has experienced immeasurable blessings over the last 60 years. Therefore, I give thanks in my prayers to all the people who have shown their love for the Military Ordinariate in Korea during the 60 years of its pastoral care for soldiers in conformity with the invitation of St. Paul and St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. The number of the priests of the Military Ordinariate in Korea has increased to 94 from the eleven who began serving as military chaplains in April, 1951 at the peak of the Korean War (1950-1953). The members of the Korea Catholic Chaplain Support Association in nine dioceses have increased to about 60,000. I cannot but thank God when I call to mind each and every priest and member who pioneered in the Military Ordinariate.


Thanks to your devoted support for the Military Ordinariate in Korea, 386,180 soldiers have accepted the Word of salvation and have been baptized. The number of parishes ready to proclaim the Gospel has increased to 93.  Here the soldiers can come together and celebrate Mass in thankfulness and share in fraternal communion. There are also many mission chapels in affiliation with the parishes.


"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift" (2Cor 9,15)


The overwhelming graces that we have experienced during the last 60 years are the abundant blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. I could not but thank the Lord for His blessing all the more as I read the essays submitted to the "contest of religious experience essays" on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the beginning of pastoral care for soldiers in Korea.


The pastoral care for soldiers which began during the tragic Korean War had to work through rough roads from the beginning. However, in His eternal goodness and benevolence God said, "Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you" (Is 49,15). He has changed the military, which was once like a rough road, wasteland, or thorn thicket too sterile to bear the fruit of faith into a "fertile land for missionary work" where the tree of life has put out branches and borne fruit in abundance.


"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever" (Dn 3,89)


We will never be satisfied with thankfulness. The Military Ordinariate in Korea will open new horizons for missionary activity for soldiers in the next 60 years, remaining faithful to the raison d'être of the Ordinariate, the "aspiration for faith and salvation" and the "passion for missionary work" in the spirit of thankfulness. In the soil of thankful hearts happiness bears its fruit, warmth radiates, gratitude flourishes, and future creative dreams and hopes blossom. Furthermore, thankfulness promotes a positive attitude in every situation, so that we can appreciate divine grace in everyday life and can also find encouragement to live our calling joyfully.


Therefore, the Military Ordinariate in Korea designated the year 2011 as the "year of thankfulness" to live a life thanking God and all our neighbours, though it remains saddened by the pain of division between the two Koreas. We also try to live "the life of purification" in the evangelical spirit of the Psalmist who prayed, "A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit" (Ps 51[50], 12). In this regard, I am sure that such a resolution will bring about the inner change of the Military Ordinariate in Korea to live a more evangelical life and to engage in the evangelization of the world.


On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the beginning of pastoral care for soldiers in Korea and the 44th Military Mission Sunday, I humbly invite all brothers and sisters to have love and concern for all soldiers, officers, military chaplains and religious who try their best to fulfill their respective duties with humble hearts. I hope that God's blessing may always be with you and your families.

October 2, 2011

+ Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il
Bishop of the Military Ordinariate





 On the Critical Issue in Korea



Christian Conscience Says 'No'
to the Construction of a Naval Base on Jeju Island (Summary)


Gangjeong residents in Jeju Island and many people who love life and peace have vehemently protested against the plan of the South Korean government to construct a new naval base on Jeju Island. For the ecological preservation of beautiful Gangjeong village many people for more than four years have fervently opposed the absurd and ironic decision of the local government. They say it is intolerable that the decision to select Gangjeong as a potential site for the naval base was made unilaterally in a most undemocratic and illegal way with no regard for the opinions of the residents. Furthermore, considering the acute rivalry for national security in Korea, China and Japan, it is quite possible that when the naval base is built on Jeju Island, this peaceful site for tourism will be transformed into an outpost of new military tension in Northeast Asia. If the Korean government is determined to construct the naval base in Jeju, it must remember what happened in Jeju at the time when the Korean government was established in 1948.
In February, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a bill to establish an independent government on the Korean Peninsula according to a vote by the Korean people in the possible regions. In this regard, a general election was to be held in South Korea on May 10, 1948. However, many people in Jeju were against the idea of the establishment of a divided Korean government and started a protest movement. In putting down the demonstration policemen killed six innocent civilians. This accident triggered island-wide confusion. As a consequence no general election was held in Jeju. In the vortex of this confusion, the so-called "Workers' Party in South Korea" instigated people to rise in arms against the government. As the incident could not be put down by the police force, the United States Military Government in Korea dispatched members of the South Korean Constabulary of Police Reserve (the Korean Army). Three months after the establishment of the South Korean government, President Rhee Seung-man put Jeju under martial law and ordered an all-out extinction of the rebels.
In June, 1949, the leader of the armed rebellion was killed and the rebel forces seemed to be destroyed. However, the next year, with the outbreak of the Korean War, there were executions without formal trial of people under suspicion and of the families of citizens who entered mountain areas to hide themselves. All the people involved in the April 3 Incident were also tried and given summary convictions. Over seven years, until September 21, 1954 when the ban on entering the mountain areas was removed, about 30,000 Jeju citizens lost their lives.
On August 28, 2000, 'The National Committee for Investigation of the Truth about the Jeju April 3 Incident' was first established. On October 31, 2003, President Rho Mu-hyeon issued an apology to the families of the victims and to the citizens of Jeju. However, the incident that was forgotten and erased from modern Korean history for over 50 years cannot be healed with one single apology.
Humanity, on the one hand, has developed a history of uncountable sins from ancient to modern times; but on the other hand, it has begun a new history through penance and expiation, making past faults the stepping-stones toward a better and more humane world.
Unlike animals, human beings can create cultures and develop the world, because they can make a new creation on the basis of what they have learned from the memories of the past. For that reason, humanity today lives in a civilized world compared to the ancient one.
If we do not remember the past, we give up our human nature. Pledging not to repeat the same mistakes in remembrance of the past, even though it is overshadowed by darkness and failures, and determining to build a better future, we implement our mission as human beings called into the world.
Since human beings have not turned away from past sins and wounds but have made them stepping stones, and since they have pledged not to repeat the dark and painful past again, we human beings, at long last, can overcome all obstacles that undermine human dignity such as slavery, gaps between the rich and the poor, and discrimination on the basis of status, gender and occupation.
Today, the dignity of human beings is respected without conditions and throughout the world human rights are cherished as noble and irreplaceable because descendants have remembered the past and have not forgotten the sacrifices of so many people who died in pain and suffering. If we cover up our past mistakes with the mantle of oblivion and learn nothing from them, we will give up the dignity of human beings endowed with reason and morals.
The land of Jeju must be an island of true peace nourished by the sacrifice of the Jeju April 3 Incident. Constructing the naval base on this island stained with so much innocent blood, acting as if nothing happened, is an act of trampling the graves of the victims and making their death worthless. That's why Jeju should be an island of peace, not only for the Jeju citizens but also for all Korean people. Jeju should remain an island as a rock of peace instead of a naval base. This is the only way to collaborate in the great saving history of God. I honestly hope and pray that Gangjeong will be a village of peace, sowing the seed of peace in the Republic of Korea and leading to detente in Northeast Asia.

+ Peter Kang U-il
Bishop of Cheju
President of the CBCK





 ● News from the Church in Korea



● Workshop for the Preparation of Answers to the Questions of the Synodal Lineamenta


The Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea (CPIK, Director: Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, President of the CBCK and Bishop of Cheju) held a workshop for the preparation of "answers to the questions of the Lineamenta for the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops" at the Auditorium of the CCK from June 27 to 28, 2011. The CPIK made a report summarizing the observations of each diocese and the competent experts and submitted it to the CBCK.



● Caritas Korea International Shared in Emergency Food Aid to North Korea


Caritas Korea International (Chairperson: Most Rev. Francis Xavier Ahn Myeong-ok) sent a hundred tons of flour to North Korea by land. In cooperation with Nanum International, a non-governmental organization engaged in aid to North Korea, the flour is going to be distributed to the peoples' hospitals and nurseries in North Hwanghe Province.



● The Second Joint Retreat of Catholics and Protestants


The CBCK Committee for Promoting Christian Unity & Interreligious Dialogue (President: Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, Archbishop of Gwangju) held the second joint retreat with the representatives of the National Council of Churches in Korea (KNCC) at Piagol Retreat House, Gurye in South Jeolla Province, from July 13 to 15, 2011.



● 4th Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue Program for Deacons


From June 23 to 24, 2011, the CBCK held the "4th Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue Program for Deacons" and arranged time for 19 deacons of the Catholic University of Korea to visit churches, temples and facilities of other major religions in Korea, to help them broaden their understanding of other religions.



● Pilgrimage on Foot for the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of 125 Korean Servants of God


A pilgrimage on foot took place from Solmoe Shrine to Sinri Shrine in Naepo region, Chungcheongnamdo, on September 4, 2011. It was organized by the Diocesan Committee of the Catholic Lay Apostolate of Daejeon (Chairman: Mr. John Baptist Kim Heung-geo), under the auspices of the Council of the Catholic Lay Apostolate Organizations of Korea (Chairman: Mr. Fabianus Choi Hong-jun). The Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Bishop of Daejeon, and some 3,000 Catholics from all parts of the country participated in this pilgrimage, with fervent prayers for the promotion of the beatification and canonization of the Servants of God "Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions" and the Servant of God "Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop".



● Prayer for the Promotion of the beatification and canonization of the Servants of God "Paul Yun Ji-chung

 and 123 companions" and the Servant of God "Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop"


The CBCK Special Episcopal Commission to Promote Beatification and Canonization (Chairperson: Most Rev. Michael Pak Jeong-il) issued a message to urge the faithful to pray for the promotion of the beatification and canonization of the Servants of God "Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions" and the Servant of God "Father Thomas Choe Yang-eop". In the message, Bishop Pak expressed his hope that the 125 Servants of God who were the foundation stones of the Catholic Church in Korea will be beatified.



● The Representatives of the Seven Major religions in South Korea visited North Korea


The representatives of the seven major religions in Korea paid a visit to Pyongyang, North Korea from September 21 to 24, 2011. They participated in the 'Congress of mutual exchange of religious representatives from South and North Korea', and held a prayer meeting on top of Baekdu Mountain. They also met some top officials of North Korea and visited churches and temples of the four major religions in North Korea. With the Korean Council of Religionists in North Korea, the representatives issued a joint statement which says they resolve "to make an active effort to clear hostility and distrust, tension and confrontation from Korean people, to eliminate the threat of war, and to build a lasting and stable peace." They also agreed to hold a regular meeting for dialogue and cooperation between the people of religious circles in both Koreas.



Public Distribution of the Documents of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP) in Readable Format


The CBCK Committee for Culture (President: Most Rev. Joseph Son Sam-seok, Auxiliary Bishop of Pusan) on August 23, 2011 opened to the public the historical documents of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP) in a readable format with Korean summaries. The documents, named "A-MEP Vol. 580" and "A-MEP Vol. 581", are compiled in two volumes. They contain annual reports and official letters of the MEP written mostly in Korea from 1875 to 1886 (Vol. 580) and from 1887 to 1900 (Vol. 581).





 News in Brief



The Special Episcopal Commission to Promote Beatification and Canonization (Chairperson: Most Rev. Michael Park Jeong-il) published a Manual for the Promotion of the Beatification and Canonization as of June 15, 2011. The 472 page manual is composed of four chapters and an appendix.



The Subcommittee for Environment under the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace (President: Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hun) held an award ceremony for the 6th Catholic Ecological Award at the auditorium of the CCK on October 4, 2011. 'The Struggle Committee Opposing Nuclear Power Plants in Sam Cheok' was awarded the Grand Prix. A Special Prize was conferred on 'Saint Paul's Kindergarten in Pohang' in North Gyeongsang Province.



The Subcommittee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment under the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace (President: Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon) held a Concert for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, "Say Peace, Sing Life", at Cafe Angello of the Catholic Youth Center, on 30 August, 2011. The concert promoted respect for life by arousing public awareness about the social problems of the rapidly increasing suicide rate and the need to abolish the death penalty.





 The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea



Chŏng Chŏng-hye (Elizabeth)


Chŏng Chŏng-hye Elizabeth was a daughter of the martyrs Chŏng Augustine and Yu So-sa Cecilia and a sister of the martyr Chŏng Ha-sang Paul. In 1801, when Elizabeth was 5 years old, her father Augustine was martyred for his faith. Elizabeth was also arrested at that time with her mother Cecilia and her two brothers. The government confiscated their property and released the young widow and the children. They went to live with one of their pagan relatives. The relatives did not treat them well, and Elizabeth had to suffer from cold and hunger. Elizabeth made a living by sewing and spinning and was able to support her mother and her brother Paul. Paul later helped Bishop Impert and other missionaries to communicate with Peiking. The relatives, who didn't like Elizabeth at first, were impressed by her and began to like her. She was so pure in heart that she never looked directly at a man.
When she was young Elizabeth made a vow to God to keep the virtue of virginity. When she was about 30 years old, she felt strong temptations for about five years. In order to overcome them she used the traditional means of prayer, fasting and flagellations used by saints. She was always praying that missionaries would come to Korea. When Bishop Impert and two French priests came to her home she was extremely happy and took good care of them.
Many people used to come to her home to see the missionaries. Elizabeth taught catechumens and gave alms to poor people. Bishop Impert once remarked about her: "Elizabeth is just like a woman catechist." But when the persecution broke out, she was afraid of it. When the bishop left Seoul to escape to the countryside, Elizabeth, her mother and her brother Paul made great efforts to console the Catholics and to provide food and clothing for poor people, particularly those in prison. They were preparing themselves for martyrdom.
Elizabeth was arrested on July 19, 1839, with her mother, Yu Cecilia, and her brother Paul. Elizabeth was interrogated. Since she refused to deny her faith, she was severely tortured. She was beaten with a club 230 times on seven different occasions, but she would never surrender. She was determined to endure all pains for the sake of God and His Blessed Mother. She used to tell people that she could understand how painful the Lord's suffering was.
While she was in prison, she never ceased to pray and meditate and to give consolation and encouragement to her fellow Catholics in prison. She also brought the church money into prison to provide food and clothing for the imprisoned people.
On December 29, 1839, when she was 43 years old, she was beheaded outside the Small West Gate with six other Catholics.


Chŏng Ch'ŏl-yŏm (Catharina)


Chŏng Catharina was arrested with three other women at the home of Hyŏn Charles on July 10, 1846. Catharine was born of a servant woman. Some say that she was baptized in infancy, others that she became a Catholic when she was 16 or 18 years old. Her character was genial, but her heart was very courageous.
When she was 20 years old, her master tried to force her to take part in the superstitious winter solstice ceremony, but Catharine refused to participate. Her master, in anger, bound her arms behind her and held her over a fire. Later she was dragged out and beaten until she fainted. The same thing happened again the following spring. The wounds on her body always showed. Her face was pale and she could not do hard work.
After her wounds healed, she came up to Hanyang and hid herself in a Catholic home. She later became a housekeeper for Father Kim in 1845. Catharine was arrested with U Susanna, Kim Theresa and Yi Agatha on July 10, 1846. According to the document of the government, the pious women were tortured severely but none of them would deny their religion.
They were in prison for over two months. September 20, 1846, was a glorious day for the seven martyrs. According to the government document, they were severely interrogated and tortured and their bodies were twisted, but they would not deny their faith. Therefore, they were either beaten or strangled to death. Catharine was 30 years old, when she was martyred.




List of Articles
No. Subject Datesort
80 CBCK Newsletter No.80 (Autumn 2012) Dec 04, 2012
79 CBCK Newsletter No.79 (Summer 2012) Jul 31, 2012
78 CBCK Newsletter No.78 (Spring 2012) Apr 30, 2012
77 CBCK Newsletter No.77 (Winter 2011) Feb 03, 2012
» CBCK Newsletter No.76 (Fall 2011) Dec 06, 2011
75 CBCK Newsletter No.75 (Summer 2011) Jul 27, 2011
74 CBCK Newsletter No.74 (Spring 2011) Apr 27, 2011
73 CBCK Newsletter No.73 (Winter 2010) Jan 20, 2011
72 CBCK Newsletter No.72 (Fall 2010) Dec 01, 2010
71 CBCK Newsletter No.71 (Summer 2010) Aug 06, 2010
70 CBCK Newsletter No.70 (Spring 2010) May 06, 2010
69 CBCK Newsletter No.69 (Winter 2009) Mar 04, 2010
68 CBCK Newsletter No.68 (Fall 2009) Oct 28, 2009
67 CBCK Newsletter No.67 (Summer 2009) Aug 27, 2009
66 CBCK Newsletter No.66 (Spring 2009) Aug 27, 2009

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