From the Editor: "Dignity of Human..."
Dignity of Human Life
The contempt of human life still exists today. We hear that terrorists often commit self-destruction in other parts of the world and there are also people who take their own lives for various reasons in our country. Some abuse others' lives as material of experiments. Others trade human organs for transplant operation. Murders and experiments on human beings are taking place under the pretext of the development of science, welfare of humanity or treatment of incurable diseases. Decades ago, Vatican Council II already pointed out that whatever is opposed to human life is supreme dishonor to the Creator (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 27). Pope John Paul II also warned against the "culture of death" (cf. Evangelium Vitae, n. 13-14).
It is time for us to reflect the dignity of human life. There is a song which says, "Humans are more beautiful than flowers." The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights clarifies that human dignity, the basis of all human rights, is "inherent." The Constitution of the Republic of Korea stipulates in Article 10 the fundamental and inviolable human rights of all citizens. The Old Testament ascribes the reason of human dignity to their creation "in the image of God." Jesus tells us humans are precious because they are "children of God." Thus he says "the sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath (Mk 2,27)." Christian theology teaches that humans are worthy of respect because they are affirmed and loved by God inasmuch as God personally became man.
Humans are precious. The Constitution of the Republic of Korea, the UN declaration, the Scriptures all agree on this argument. And also, this dignity should be guaranteed for the least; there is no discrimination among men and women, the old and the young, the handicapped and the non-handicapped, and the unborn and the born. We should cherish the words of Jesus who loved man so much that he personally became man like us. "Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me (Matt 25,40)." For those who consider humans valuable Jesus promises great grace, saying, "You that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matt 25,34)." At the same time, we cannot forget His warning against those who disregard humans, especially the weak and least. "Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones (Matt 18,10)." "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea (Matt 18,6)."
Fr. Basil Cho Kyu-man
Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea
Message for the 2004 Prayer Day for Reconciliation and Unity of ...
Message for the 2004 Prayer Day for Reconciliation and Unity of Korea People
Let Us Demolish the Wall between the South and North!
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At present both South and North Korea experience profound change in all aspects of living, such as political, economic and social life. In North Korea, formal or informal changes in economy and social life are being made speedily. In South Korea, "mutual benefit" is being pursued between political parties, generations, spheres and regions.
We heard in April the news about the train blast near the Ryongcheon Station in North Korea. It was a terrible accident but offered a good opportunity for all Korean people to be united. At the sight of the tragedy of our brethren in North, people from all spheres of life in South Korea, regardless of the conservative and the progressive, man and woman, and the old and the young, became one heart. We did what we could do for them and shared in love and charity what we had. Ryongcheon area is recovering its original image with the aid from many parts of the world, in particular, with the help from South Korea. Our concern cannot stop at the restoration of Ryongcheon but should extend to all our brothers and sisters in North Korea who are still in suffering and hardship.
Today, when we pray for the reconciliation and unity of Korean People, I ask you to think first about the reconciliation with ourselves and with neighbors, the reconciliation among regions and among social classes and the unity in the Church.
Only those who sincerely love themselves can love neighbors and others. Our Lord also said, "You shall love your neighbors as yourself (Matt 19,19)." It would be better for us to accept and love ourselves as we are than to hate or fight against our defects. For this we should reconcile with God who is present inside ourselves and receive the peace of Christ.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The relationship of two Koreas also changes. The two Koreas cooperate in important economic projects, such as the re-construction of Gyeongui railroad, offering tour services around Mt. Geumgang and the construction of manufacturing complex in Gaeseong, and improved agreements are made at military talks. In a sense, the signs of the national division are gradually fading away in the shadow of history. However, the real meaning of reconciliation and unity is to recognize and accept the others as they are. Therefore, both South and North Korea should first try to understand the other part as it is.
The Catholic Church in Korea has the duty to look after the changes in and between two Koreas and strive to settle social conflicts. To this end the unity in the Church is strongly urged. We all know that our Lord prayed for the unity of believers. "(I ask) that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us (Jn 17,21)." Our Church should respond to this prayer of Jesus with concrete practice of reconciliation and unity.
I pray that the peace of Christ may be with all the brothers and sisters in South and North Korea.
June 27, 2004
Prayer Day for Reconciliation and Unity of Korean People
+ Lucas Kim Woon-hoe
Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People of the CBCK
New Apostolic Nuncio in Korea Appointed
New Apostolic Nuncio in Korea Appointed
On May 22, 2004, Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig, Apostolic Nuncio in Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Granada, Guyana, Surinam, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint-Vincent and Granadinas, Santa Lucia and Apostolic Delegate in the Antilles, as Apostolic Nuncio in Korea.
<Brief History of Archbishop Nuncio>
|3 Feb 1947||
Born in Unterems, Switzerland
|11 Apr 1974||
|4 May 1996||
Appointed as Titular Archbishop of Voli
|4 May 1996||
Appointed as Apostolic Nuncio in Burundi
|27 Jun 1996||
|8 Jul 2000
Appointed as Apostolic Nuncio in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Bahamas and Apostolic Delegate in the Antilles
|20 Jan 2001
Appointed as Apostolic Nuncio in Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Surinam, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Apostolic Delegate in the Antilles
|22 May 2004||
Appointed as Apostolic Nuncio in Korea
Message on Domestic Violence
Let Us Make Domestic Violence Disappear
and Build the Family of Life, Community of Peace!
To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Lk 1,79)
In May, the Month of Mary and of the Family, we honor the dignity of life and desire family peace in a special manner. On this good occasion, we present this Message to urge the end of domestic violence.
1. We Appreciate All Organizations and Individuals Who Work for Family Peace and Human Dignity
The Catholic Church in Korea, along with Popes, episcopal conferences in Asia and in the world, has incessantly emphasized the importance of the family. Besides, many movements and associations in the Church in Korea are committed to defending values and peace of the family. Nevertheless, to our disappointment, we now watch the family collapsing. Therefore, we should recognize the importance of the family anew and make effort to build a peaceful family.
2. Family, the Community of Life and School for Social Life
The family is the place where life is born and nurtured. The family becomes "the sanctuary of life" (Evangelium vitae, n. 92) through the love and communion between husbands and wives and between parents and children. Husband and wife experience the dignity and equality through their conjugal life and children learn from their parents about human relationships and what the society is like. "Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society"(Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2207).
"Children are a living reflection of the conjugal love"(Familiaris Consortio, n. 14). Children who grow up in unstable families lacking in trust and love are apt to become violent adults. On the contrary, those who experience and learn personal dignity and healthy relationships at homes are likely to practice these in social life as well. Accordingly, the family is the basis of society. Then, if the life in family is peaceful, so is the life of society and if the family becomes unstable, so does society. The problems of the family directly become the social problems. And one of the elements threatening the peace of family is domestic violence.
3. Domestic Violence Includes Violences against Spouses, Child Abuse and Elder Abuse
It also includes violent mind and emotion, causing suffering to family members over money and verbal abuses as well as exercising physical violence. According to a survey, the situation of domestic violence in Catholic families is not different from that in the families of non-believers. Over 30% of Catholic families answered they have experienced violence. We often see people who do not aware of the gravity of domestic violence and just regard it as personal family affair. However, it is a social crime which threats the respect for life and peaceful society. It is also an act contrary to the will of God who created humankind "in the image of God"(Gen 1,27) in equality and dignity.
We should pay special attention to child abuse and elder abuse because they are the most vulnerable ones both in family and in society but often neglected or abandoned. In some cases children are even treated as the possession of parents and accompanied by parents who are taking their own lives. They become the victims affected by materialism and the trend despising life. Wife abuse is also a big problem. Even though we see many signs showing the progressive improvement in the dignity and rights of women, the most victims of domestic violence is still women. In reality, we still find sexual inequality and discrimination in our society. This is contrary to the teachings of the Church that the relationship between husband and wife should be understood as "mutual subjection out of reverence for Christ (John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, n. 24).
4. The Members of the Church Should Be Faithful Guardians of the Family Peace
"God, who called the couple to marriage, continues to call them in marriage …… in and through the events, problems, difficulties and circumstances of everyday life"(Familiaris Consortio, n. 51). Therefore, the couple should nurture conjugal love and faith with consolation and sacrifice in adversities and difficulties. We also hope that the victims of domestic violence believe in God, who is always with the suffering people, and get courage from Him. We also hope that those who destroy the family peace can resolve to live a new life, bearing in mind that only their conversion can restore love-filled relationships in family. The lay faithful should consider the suffering and the marginalized as their neighbors and offer them constant assistance and care. The pastors and religious also should strive to give systemic assistance to the victims of domestic violence and to educate the couples about the meaning of the family and proper relationships between spouses. The family as well as the Church is the community of a destiny.
We once again give thanks to all who are trying to defend the peace in the family and society and to protect human dignity from violence. We pray through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Life and Peace, that every Christian family can "by its example and its witness accuses the world of sin and enlightens those who seek the truth"(Lumen Gentium, n. 35).
+ Peter Lee Ki-heon
President Committee for Family Pastoral Ministry of the CBCK
+ Andrew Yeom Soo-jung
President Committee for the Laity Apostolate of the CBCK
Message for the Day for Life
"I am the Life"(Jn 14,6)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This year we celebrate the tenth Day for Life that the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea instituted to conquer the "culture of death" prevailing in our society. Reflecting the past and the present, however, we only find that threats to life are still present among us. Abortion, suicide, euthanasia, domestic violence, animal cloning and genetic manipulation, war, terrorism, and environmental pollution are all driving us to death, not to life.
1. Human from the Moment of Conception
"The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life"(John Paul II, Encyclical Evangelium vitae, n. 60).
At present the Korean society faces a serious crisis of life with regard to abortions. Even though the positive law bans abortions, punishment for performing an abortion is not executed at all. Rather, the Mother and Child Health Law gives rise to 4,000 to 5,000 cases of abortions a day in Korea. "The Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. …… Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law"(Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2271.2274).
"The first right of the human person is his life"(Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion, n. 11). This right to life equally belongs to all human beings, including fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses. This right should be recognized and respected as a sacred and inviolable right because it comes from God.
2. Suicide, Denial to Love for the Living God
One of the noticeable proof of anti-life phenomenon is the increasing cases of suicide. Not a few people took their lives because of financial or living difficulties and sometimes social leaders also took their lives for various reasons. It seems that suicide is the last option for those who are in a tight corner financially, socially or psychologically. However, suicide is absolutely an anti-life, immoral and inhuman act.
Each and every human person should take responsibility for his own life before God who has granted life to him. We are not the owner of our life; we are just the steward of life which is entrusted to us by God. Therefore, our life is not at our disposal (cf. Evangelium vitae, n. 66). Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2281)
3. God, the Lord of Every Life
Every living creature, including human being, comes from God (cf. Gen 1,11-13.20-31). Seeing these lives, God thought that it was "good." Hence, life itself is the good gift of God. God willed this life abundant in the world and let His Only Son be incarnated specifically for human life. The Incarnated Word said, "I came that the sheep may have life, and have it abundantly"(Jn 10,10). For this reason, human life should be protected and respected in any case. Man's life comes from God; it is his gift, his image and imprint, a sharing in his breath of life (Evangelium vitae, n. 39).
4. Way of Life, Life 31 Movement
The way of Christ leads to life (Mt 7,14) and the way contrary to it leads to destruction (Matt 7,13). In brief, one is the "way of life" and the other is the "way of death" and the distance between the two ways is far (cf. Didache 1,1).
The Life 31 Movement which the Catholic Church in Korea launched last year is a movement to choose the way of life. The Movement started on the 31st anniversary of the institution of the Mother and Child Health Law, to express the strong will to put an end to the culture of death especially distinguished for last 30 years and to start the first year toward life. We should promote this Movement actively and become the People of Life, who appreciate and serve the life God gives to us.
5. Save One More Life!
When Christ prayed for his disciples at the garden of Gethsemane, he prayed, "Holy Father, while I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. …… and not one of them was lost …… (Jn 17,12)." We can see from this prayer that the purpose of incarnation of Christ is to protect all lives created by God, especially the human life.
This year the Life 31 Movement tries to take roots deeply among people with the motto "Save One More Life!" This motto urges us to consider each and every life more precious. The culture of death will fade away when we are aware of the value of every life.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We, the people of life, should take the way of life and serve life so that we can properly respond to the will of God who is the Lord of life and who loves life. To do so, we should value our own life as well as others' lives. We also should recognize that God is the Lord of all lives and should firmly face the challenges to God's precious gift of life, such as abortion, suicide, euthanasia, domestic violence, cloning, genetic manipulation, war, terrorism and environmental pollution.
Let us build the culture of life, praying that the Lord of life may let the world have life abundantly.
May 30, 2004
Tenth Day for Life
+ Peter Lee Ki-heon
President Committee for Family Pastoral Ministry of the CBCK
Message for the Day for the Environment
Simple Life for God
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The universe, the world created by God, is full of mystery and beauty. Diverse species are living and diverse ecosystems are providing habitats for all living things, including human being. All of these are the precious gift of God.
However, the earth, once clean and pure, has been miserably damaged and contaminated in a very short time and is causing all sorts of disasters to humanity. Thus, Pope John Paul II pointed out in his Encyclical Centesimus Annus, "In his desire to have and to enjoy rather than to be and to grow, man consumes the resources of the earth and his own life in an excessive and disordered way (n. 37)."
The greed of human beings knows no boundaries unless they restrain themselves. As people want to possess more and more rather than share what they have, non-renewable resources are on a rapid road to exhaustion and plenty of contaminating material is produced in the process of manufacturing and consuming goods. As a result, the ecosystem is being damaged, animals and plants are dying and human life itself is being threatened.
First of all, we should pay attention to the environmental changes. Global warming and extreme weather events are causing disasters in many parts of the world. The reason of global warming is excessive emission of greenhouse gases, most of which is carbon dioxide emitted in using fuels like oil and coal. To eliminate this phenomenon, the UN Conference on Environment & Development (UNCED) adopted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and set up provisions to the Convention, "Kyoto Protocol," in 1997. This Protocol, however, is not in full effect because of the unwillingness of some advanced countries.
In many summers we have witnessed flood damages due to torrential rains and typhoons which also claimed lots of lives. According to the 100-year analysis of weather by the Korea Meteorological Administration, the average temperature of the Korean Peninsula is 13.5℃, which is 1.5℃ higher than 100 years ago. This increased rate is still higher than the average increase of temperature of the earth, which is 0.6℃. If this warming keeps going on, the temperature will reach 6.5℃ by 2100 and it means the present subtropical climate in the Peninsula will shift to tropical climate.
To reduce the damage of global warming, we should positively practice the following things. First, we should reduce the use of fossil fuels emitting greenhouse gases. For one thing, we should take public transportation more and operate heating or air conditioning less. Second, we should make efforts to develop and use alternative energy resources like solar power, wind power and tidal power and to create renewable resources through rainwater recycling and tree planting. Third, there is a need to encourage energy efficiency when constructing churches as well as houses or buildings. For example, solar energy can be used for heating or lighting, and rainwater can be reserved and utilized later.
People say that the 21st century is the time of the environment. The Holy Father already said that, "Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its life style."(Message for the World Day for Peace, 1990, n. 13). Hence, we should pursue true happiness by a simple way of living, that is, a life style wanting less and spending less. Even though it is not easy, we should enter into this way of living with deep sense of responsibility to respond to the will of God who keeps his eyes on us.
June 5, 2004
+ John Choi Young-soo
Auxiliary Bishop of Taegu
President Committee for Justice & Peace of the CBCK
News from the Church in Korea
News from the Church in Korea
○ Church Helps the Train Blast Victims in North Korea
For the victims of the April 22 train blast around Ryongcheon Station in North Korea, the Catholic Church in Korea took a lead in helping the victims and in giving aid to the relief and reconstruction work.
The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul and Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang, issued a statement on April 26 and called on the faithful to practice charity to North Korean brethren who are deeply suffering from the tragic accident.
Saying that, "To share the suffering of our brothers and sisters is the essential mission of the Church," he ordered an extra collection to be made for this purpose in parishes in the Archdiocese of Seoul on May 9, the fifth Sunday of Easter. Earlier, the Archdiocese sent USD $ 80,000 to North Korea as emergency relief aid via the Archdiocesan Committee for the Reconciliation of Korean People.
In addition, the CBCK Committee for "Caritas Coreana" has been promoting nationwide donation from April 27, in collaboration with Caritas International, which on behalf of the entire Catholic Church promotes relief work in North Korea. Caritas International already spent a fund of USD $ 200,000 as the first step.
The CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People also held an ad-hoc meeting on April 27 and decided to request dioceses and the conferences of major superiors of religious to make contributions. The official channel of aid shall be the CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People and the Association of North Korean Catholics (Chairperson: Mr. Samuel Jang Jae-eon).
On April 26, on the other hand, Mr. Paul Kang Ji-young, Vice Chairperson of the Association of North Korean Catholics, sent a reply to the April 24 letter of consolation by the Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, President of the CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of Korean People, and appreciated the "fraternal support" of the Church in South Korea.
○ Diocese of Andong Dedicates Its New Cathedral Church
On April 25, the Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyok-ju, Bishop of Andong, dedicated the newly remodeled church of Mokseong-dong Cathedral of Andong.
Some 1,000 people attended the dedication Mass, including the Most Rev. John Choi Young-soo, Auxiliary Bishop of Taegu, and the Rev. Bernard Tschang In-san, Vicar General of the Diocese of Cheongju and diocesan priests of Andong.
The old building was established in 1927 and relocated to the current site in 1949. However, it deteriorated with the passage of time and came to need more space to play role as a Cathedral.
The new premises include a chapel, a grand hall, meeting rooms, residence for priests and a house of sisters and the chapel can accommodate some 600 people. There are also a socializing place for the elderly and free funeral facilities for the local community.
Bishop Kwon said at the Mass, "The Cathedral is now newly completed. Therefore, it should try harder to become the center for the diocese as well as for the local community and to proclaim the Gospel values to them." He also stressed that the Cathedral be a living church for all those who visit the church.
○ Mass to Mark the 20th Anniversary of Canonization of 103 Korean Martyrs
On May 1, the Archdiocese of Seoul offered a Solemn Mass for the 20th Anniversary of Canonization of 103 Korean Martyrs, presided by the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, at Jeoldusan Martyrdom Shrine.
In the Mass, prepared by the Archdiocesan Committee for Korean Martyrs, some 8,000 Catholics participated, including His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, three Auxiliary Bishops of Seoul, and other priests.
Archbishop Cheong recalled in his homily, "The canonization of 103 Korean Martyrs by His Holiness Pope John Paul II at Yeoido Plaza, Seoul, in 1984 was the first canonization taking place outside the Vatican and was a very honorable and monumental event where more than 100 martyrs were canonized at a time."
He continued, "Like martyrs, we can be the witnesses of God if we keep our faith in adversity," and called on the faithful to "willingly bear the daily cross for the glory of God."
During the Mass, the faithful prayed that the Catholic Church in Korea may be rearmed with the spirit of martyrdom for the evangelization of Korean people and reborn as 'Church of witnesses', being faithful to her mission to be the salt and light of the world.
In addition to the Mass, there was a recitation of Rosary for the beatification and canonization of other Korean martyrs, cultural performances and veneration to the remains of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, the first Korean priest who was martyred in 1846 and canonized in 1984.
○ 'Agreement on Fidei Donum Priests' Concluded between Korea and U.S.A.
The CBCK Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants (President: Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, Bishop of Cheju) and its counterpart of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) agreed on the 'Agreement on Fidei Donum Priests' on May 4.
The agreement was made between Bishop Kang and the Most Rev. Thomas G. Wenski, President of the USCCB Committee on Migration, at San Petro Retreat Center in Orlando, Florida.
If the agreement is approved by the 2004 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK, each diocese and religious institute in Korea should conclude the Agreement with the local ordinary of the receiving diocese in the States before sending Fidei Donum priests.
The agreement clarifies that the "receiving diocese" should provide entrance expenses and documents necessary for issuing visa to the Korean Fidei Donum priest and that the receiving Bishop should grant the canonical status as a Catholic priest to the Fidei Donum priest, who, in his turn, should be obedient to the Bishop and follow the norms and provisions of the receiving Diocese.
In addition, regarding the cases of the nullity of marriage of overseas Korean faithful who married in the States, the two Committees confirmed that the competence cannot be delegated to the episcopal conference in Korea and consented that the USCCB would assign Korean priests as 'procurators for marriage cases' to give pastoral help to the Korean respondents considering the difficulties caused by different cultures and languages.
○ Nationwide Eucharistic Congress Held
The third nationwide Eucharistic Congress was solemnly held on May 26, 2004, at the Martyrs' Mountain, a shrine in the Diocese of Chonju, with some 11,000 Catholics participating.
Prepared by the Association for the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration of the Diocese of Chonju (President: Mr. Simon Chae Su-hyeon, Director: Rev. Joachim Kim Gwang-seok), the Congress became the place where the faithful worshiped Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament and made a resolution to become apostles proclaiming His teachings.
H.E. Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, who presided the Solemn Mass, said, "Let us deeply appreciate the love of our Lord present in the Eucharist and be sanctified by his love so that each and every person in the world can enjoy the genuine peace of Christ."
During the Congress, there was also a special lecture by the Most Rev. Vincent Ri Pyung-ho, Bishop of Chonju, on the "Eucharist and the Family," as well as the benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Eucharistic procession.
○ Archdiocese of Seoul to Support Child Care System in Parishes for Christian Education in Childhood
The Episcopal Council of the Archdiocese of Seoul held its regular meeting on June 2 and decided to encourage the establishment of child care facilities in parishes, given the importance of Christian education in childhood and to give assistance to working couples with their parenting.
Accordingly, the Archdiocese decided to support some part of the cost when parishes set up such facilities and to listen to the opinions of pastors on the spot to prepare more detailed plans.
"This decision reflects the concern of the Archdiocese for families and working parents. If the Church wants to encourage parents to give birth to more children, it should first take care of the realistic difficulties they face in bringing up children," said a source of the Archdiocese.
○ 2003 Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea Published
The 2003 Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea, published June 7, 2004 by the Catholic Conference of Korea, clearly showed the aging of Catholic population in Korea, calling for multifaceted pastoral programs for the elderly and at the same time for the youth.
According to the Statistics, the number of faithful aged 50-59 and 60-69 increased 22.9% and 36.7%, respectively, while the number of those aged under 40 decreased as a whole. In particular, those aged 6 and under and aged 7-19 showed rapid drop of 18.4% and 9.1% and age groups of 20-29 and of 30-39 also decreased by 7.7% and 7.2%.
The total number of the Catholics in Korea was 4,430,791 or 9.1% of the total population (48,823,837) as of December 31, 2003. Compared to the previous year, it increased 83,186 or 1.9%.
The rate of the newly baptized also decreased; the number of those baptized in 2003 was 135,379, 1.7% decreased from 137,723 in 2002. However, for the Military Ordinariate, 18,912 persons were baptized, showing 11.9% of increase. In fact, among the 21,183 newly baptized men in their 20s, 17,815 persons belong to the Military Ordinariate. The rate of Sunday Mass attendants was not changed much as 26.9% and the rate of lethargic faithful was still high as 35.7%.
The Statistics also indicated that the number of parishes was 1,359, increased by 56 places and that of mission stations was 989, decreased by 53 places from the year of 2002. Besides, in the Catholic Church in Korea there is one cardinal, four archbishops, 26 bishops (including two foreigners), 19 monsignors, and 3,584 priests (3,396 Koreans and 188 foreigners). The number of men and women religious was 1,352 and 9,343, respectively.
○ Family Pastoral Ministry Emphasized at an Inter-Committee Symposium
The family pastoral ministry should be given a priority in the Church and illuminated by diverse perspectives, said the participants of an inter-committee symposium.
On June 10, the Committee for Family Pastoral Ministry, Committee for Social Communications, Committee for Women, and Bioethics Committee of the CBCK jointly held a symposium with the title "The Family toward Life," to examine the reality of families in Korean society and present desirable images and measures for Christian family.
This symposium was also in line with the preparation for the 8th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, which will be held in Korea in upcoming August with the theme "The Asian Family toward a Culture of Life."
Presenters and commenters remarked that the family pastoral ministry should be studied and treated in the broader perspective of "Christian family within the society" and that it is necessary to take into consideration the social phenomenon, circumstances and view of value. They also noted that structures for the family pastoral ministry should be organized in each diocese since only four dioceses have pastors who are exclusively in charge of the family pastoral ministry.
Saying, "The family is the place where life is conceived and gets in bloom but it cannot play its proper role," the Most Rev. Peter Lee Ki-heon underlined in his keynote address the value of teachings of the Church on the family and urged families to "understand the meaning of marriage and family and live out Christian life in each family."
○ News in Brief
-The CBCK Committee for the Pastoral Care of the Migrants and Itinerants published in April 2004 the Statistics of the Overseas Korean Catholics in 2003. According to the Statistics, as of December 31, 2003, there were 133,853 overseas Korean Catholics in 151 parishes in 60 countries throughout the world and among them were 172 priests, 121 sisters and two brothers. Over half of the overseas Korean Catholics live in North America (81,999 persons in the U.S.A. and 14,840 in Canada) and others live in Oceania (10,310 in Australia and 4,567 in New Zealand), South America (3,600 in Brazil), and Europe (3,385 in Germany).
- Twenty five Catholics from the Diocese of Amiens, France, made a ten-day visit to Seoul from April 20 to 29, at the invitation of the Galhyeon-dong parish in Seoul. The pilgrims, led by the Most Rev. Jean Luc Bouilleret, Bishop of Amiens, visited Galmaemot Shrine in the Diocese of Daejeon, the martyrdom place of St. Daveluy, who was from the Diocese of Amiens and served as the fifth Vicar Apostolic of Joseon until he was martyred in 1866 during the persecution in Joseon Dynasty. After the Mass offered at the Shrine, there was a benediction ceremony of the bronze statue of the St. Daveluy and Bishop Bouilleret presented the surplice of the Saint to the Shrine.
-The Most Rev. Paul Tschang In-nam, Apostolic Nuncio in Bangladesh, sent a letter on April 3 to his native Diocese of Cheongju, appreciating the spiritual and material help from the Catholic Church in Korea. Since he took the position of the Apostolic Nuncio in Bangladesh the Catholic Church in Korea has given aid to the Church in Bangladesh amounting to 278 million won (USD $ 242,000). The fund was appropriated for various works, such as establishment of the building of Episcopal Conference, formation of priests and religious, education and medical services, construction of church buildings and support for priests and religious, he said.
-The Ministry of Health and Welfare of Korea announced on May 31, 2004 that the Institute of Cell and Gene Therapy of the Catholic Medical Center, a general hospital affiliated with the Medical School of the Catholic University in Korea, was selected as the government-supported research institute on cell therapy and will be granted 12 billion won (USD 10 million) for six years. With this government grants, the Institute is likely to be more dedicated to the research on cell therapy and on the adult stem cells, which has been constantly recommended by the Catholic Church as an alternative to embryonic stem cell study.
Marie Nicholas Antoine Daveluy was born on March 16, 1818, in Amiens, France, of an influential family.
His father was the owner of a factory and a town council member as well as a government official. His family was well known in the town for devotion and faith. Three sons of the family became priests. At the age of seven Antoine began to study Latin and in 1827 he went to a Jesuit school. After the Jesuit school had been closed by the king's decree, Antoine went to a grammar school. He made up his mind to become a priest when he was in the second grade. He finally entered St. Sulpice Seminary near his home town in October 1834. He wanted to become a Jesuit priest despite his poor health.
In October 1836, Antoine went to St. Sulpice Seminary in Paris for further studies. In 1841, he was ordained a priest and was assigned to the parish of Roye as an assistant priest. After successful work in the parish for 20 months, Father Daveluy joined the Paris Foreign Mission Society in October 1843.
In February 1844 Father Daveluy left for Macao and arrived there six months later. Meanwhile Bishop Ferreol was attempting to go to Joseon. The bishop persuaded Father Daveluy to go along with him. In Shanghai, Bishop Ferreol and Fathers Kim and Daveluy left for Korea in a small wooden boat. They safely arrived at Ganggyeong in Chungcheongnam-do after a long, stormy voyage.
Father Daveluy started his pastoral work in 1846. He administered the sacraments to more than 700 Catholics in the first two months, and later baptized more than 1,700 in two years. Due to the unhealthy environment his poor health became worse. During his illness he taught Latin to young seminarians. During this time he wrote a Korean-French Dictionary, which was lost during the persecution in 1866.
Bishop Berneux, who succeeded Bishop Ferreol in 1856, made Father Daveluy a coadjutor bishop as soon as he arrived in Korea. He was consecrated a bishop in a private house on March 25, 1857. He volunteered to take care of the more difficult remote areas. He also printed and published Catholic books. Most of the Catholic history books available today were written by him. After Bishop Berneux was martyred in February 1866, Bishop Daveluy became the fifth Vicar Apostolic of Korea for a short period of 23 days.
On March 11, 1866, Bishop Daveluy and his assistant, Hwang Sok-du Luke were arrested. When the police arrived in his village, Bishop Daveluy called them into his house and surrendered himself to them. On March 14 of the same year, Bishop Daveluy and two other missionaries Fathers Aumaitre and Huin were sent to the Seoul prison. The missionaries were tortured and interrogated. Bishop Daveluy who could speak Korean well was treated more severely and defended the Catholic faith eloquently.
It was decided that the site for execution of the death sentence should not be in Seoul but in Galmaemot, a naval base in Chungcheong-do, about 100 kilometers away from Seoul, because the king was sick and was getting married. He did not want to have the missionaries' blood shed in Seoul. By his own request, Bishop Daveluy was beheaded on Good Friday, March 30, 1866, at Galmaemot, with his companions, Father Aumaitre and Father Huin. He was 49 years old.
For three days the bodies of the three martyrs were abandoned on the beach but it has been said that their bodies were not corrupted until their burial. On the third day, non-believers in the neighborhood buried them.
In mid- June of that year, believers moved their bodies to Sojukgol in Hongsan, about 1,000m from Galmaemot, and buried them there.
Daveluy came to Korea with Bishop Ferreol and spent his life spreading the Gospel for 21 years in Korea. He wrote biographies of martyrs and collected materials on the history of the Church. He prepared many books on religious teachings. He was assistant bishop for nine years under Bishop Berneux, and after Berneux' death, he was appointed the fifth bishop of Korea.
The remains of the three martyrs were transferred to Nagasaki in 1882 but were moved again to Yongsan Seminary on May 22, 1894. On September 10, 1900, they were placed in the basement of Myongdong Cathedral. They are now preserved in the crypt of Jeoldusan Church.
These glorious martyrs were beatified at St. Peter's, Rome, by Pope Paul VI on October 6, 1968. They were listed among the saints on May 6, 1984. They are honored by all who believe in the Lord.