From Archbishop Paul Moun-hi Ri. the New President of CBCK :
We are Called for Mission, the Raison d'Etre of Church!
The Catholic Church in Korea has had the honor of two successful visits of His Holiness Pope John Paul n in recent years. The first was in 1984 on the occasion of the bicentennial celebration of the Catholic Church in Korea and the second one in 1989 for the 44th International Eucharistic Congress in Seoul. During his first visit, the Holy Father canonized 103 Korean martyrs. The Catholic Church has indeed grown and prospered since it was planted in this land and has made considerable progress thanks to God's grace.
However none of us can remain content with the present success. We are called to a further step: Evangelization towards third millennium. This task is driving our Church to a renewed commitment and development. I believe that all dioceses in Korea are already fully committed to carry out it.
Regarding Evangelization for the third millennium, we can say that it takes two directions. First is the domestic Church policy which consists in building up a strong inner solidaritY between all churches in Korea by activating the movement of small christian communities. Second is the foreign policy of the Church which includes overseas mission. Mission is the raison d' etre of the Church. If we don' t work for mission our Church will die.
The majority of the world' s population is living in Asia. However, a great number of Asian people and nations have never heard about Christ and the Gospel of Jesus has never reached them. In the Northeast Asian region, the Chinese cultural sphere, there are millions of people who are waiting for the message of the Gospel and we know well what we have to do for them. God entrusted this mission to us. Thus we have to take up this work sincerely in response to the immense love of God that has been poured upon our Church. When the Holy Father expressed his deep concern for the Evangelization of Asia, he asked us to get ready and prepare ourselves to announce the Gospel to all our brothers and sisters in Asia. Asia is calling for Christ. Asia needs Christ!
The united efforts and cooperation of all Korean Catholics are vital in this missionary task. First of all, it is the responsibility of the Bishops' Conference of Korea to play a primary role and there is much work to do. In this regard, we, the Bishops, need the continual support and prayer of all the clergy, religious and laity. AI¥> the friendly cooperation of Episcopal Conferences in our neighboring countries will be necessary and important for us in pursuing this mission. Most Rev. Paul Moun-hi Ri D.D.
Archbishop of Taegu
President Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea
1993 Autumn General Assembly of the Bishops' Conference
The 1993 Autumn General Assembly of the Bishops' Conference was held at CBCK Conference Hall from Oct.11-15. The Bishops agreed to take up the question of earned income tax, Grade A, for the clergy and approved the proposal of theConference of Vicars General to introduce a coding system to coordinate clericalwork in the Church.
The Conference held elections for the presidency of the Bishops' Conference and National Committees. Archbishop Paul Ri of Taegu diocese was elected as the new President of CBCK, following Most. Rev. Angelo Kim, and a new executive was fonned (see below).
The Bishops agreed to issue a Joint Pastoral Letter on "Family" on the occasion of the United Nations' "1994, International Year of Family" . New rules for the Family Pastoral Committee, Canon Law Committee and National CatholicCharismatic Service Committee were approved. A request for holding a "Dialogue with the Bishops" , made by the Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women in Korea, was accepted and the Pennanent Council of CBCK was commissioned to arrange when and how this Dialogue will take place.
The Bishops also unanimously supported the plan for CATV, presented by theP' yonghwa Broadcasting orporation (pBC). They agreed to offer 500,000.00 USDto the Catholic Church in Mongolia as an assistance fund, at the request of the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Seoul, Most Rev. G. Bulaitis. This will be carried out over a period of five years.
Newly Elected Officers of the Bishops' Conference of Korea
President: Archbishop Paul Ri
Vice President: Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong
Secretary: Most Rev. Michael Pak
Members of the Pennanent Council: Most Rev. Paul O. Kim, Most Rev. Victorinus Youn
Newly Elected Presidents of the National Committees
Evangelization Committee: Most Rev. Angelo Kim
Educational Committee: Most Rev. Ignatius Pak
Mass Communication Committee: Most Rev. Gabriel Lee
Rev. Dionysius Namik Paik was re-appointed as Secretary General ofCBCK for a second tenn of 3 years.
Profile ofArchbishop Paul Moun-hi Ri, the newly elected President of CBCK.
1935 - Born in Taegu, Kyong Buk
1959 - Graduated from Kyong Buk University, Political Science, B.A.
1962 - Completed Philosophy studies at Catholic Seminary of Lyon in France
1965 - Completed Theology studies at Catholic Institute of Paris
1965 - Ordained Priest in Saint Sulpice Church, in Paris
1966 - Returned to Korea
1967 - Assistant Pastor of Naeduk Parish in Ch'ong-ju
1968 - Director of Taegu Catholic Action
1969 - Military Chaplain with Air Force
1972 - Auxiliary Bishop of Taegu
1977 - Pastor of the Cathedral of Taegu
1984 - Coadjutor Archbishop of Taegu
1986 - Archbishop of Taegu
1988 - Vice President of CBCK
1993 - President of CBCK
Dear CBCK Newsletter Readers,
The Taejon International Exposition, opened on Aug. 7 on the theme of ''The Challenge of a New Road to Development" ended on Nov. 7 1993. The Bishor,s' Conference of Korea, commissioned by the Holy See, tried its best to carry out the Vatican Pavilion, on the theme "Lumen Gentium' and to present the right relation between the Church and Science and to enlighten the path of science and technology in the future. Thanks to your interest and support the Vatican Pavilion ended with success. It is our belief that the Vatican Pavilion made a wonderful contribution to the Evangelization of our country. Especially the positive contribution of the Catholic Church in the history of the development of science and technology raised a considerable interest among students and youngsters. We feel good about it!
Rev. Dionysius Namik Paik
Address by Most Rev.G. Bulaitis, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, at the Autumn General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, October 11, 1993
Your Eminence, Excellencies,
I ampleased to be present here, this afternoon, at the opening session of the Autumn General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea and I thank you for the kind invitation.
In my short time here I have become more and more aware of the numerous pastoral activities and engagements of the Bishops in their own dioceses, national events, and participation in international gatherings and meetings. Among them stand out many fine achievements of the Conference itself and of individual bishops. To list them all is difficult - but not to mention at least some of them would be an injustice - for in them we see the active spirit of effort and collaboration of the Bishops of Korea to give their best to the Church in this land and share themselves with the Universal Church.
The last Spring General Assembly of Bishops was brought to an early closure due to the death, after a long
illness, of His Excellency Msgr. Daniel Tji, Bishop of Wonju. Later the Bishops attended the solemn celebration of the beginning of the pastoral ministry of his successor, His Excellency Msgr. James Kim to whom we wish abundant graces from God.
In Korea, this year, we have seen the opening of two new Major Seminaries: one in Taejon and another in Pusan.
Building work at the Major Seminary of Seoul is being completed, while still more is to be done. Kwangju Major Seminary is to be re-Iocated and re-built and Inchon diocese anxiously awaits the formal documentation for the building of its own Major seminary. In the archdiocese of Taegu a Retreat Center is in completion. What fine achievements! What immense works! What courage to under take such tasks!
Many different activities have been carried out and are like candles hidden under bushes which men do not
see - these are gifts of God - may they come to shine in the hearts of people and in the presence of God. Let us give thanks to God and all who supported these works.
Last Summer, Bishops and representatives from Korea attended the Eucharistic Congress in Spain where the
Rosario Chorus presented performances on the Korean Martyrs. Like-wise, other Bishops with large groups of young people participated in the Denver International Youth Celebrations in the presence of the Holy Father.
Last July we had the visit to Korea of His Excellency Msgr. Paul Cordes, Vice president of the Pontifical Council
for the Laity, who met many leaders of Catholic lay organizations in this country.
Still very fresh in our memory is the visit of His Eminence Cardinal Edmund Szoka as Extraordinary Envoy of the Holy Father to the Taejon Expo' 93. Many were the ceremonies and activities connected with it. I myself made four visits to Taejon including that on the day when the pavilion of the Holy See was blessed and opened in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Kim, Archbishop of Seoul, many Bishops of Korea and numerous priests, religious and laity. I was much impressed with our own exposition. The Holy See's Pavilion is of the highest and most worthy quality in design, presentation, thought and message. Without doubt it merits to be classified among the best of exhibits. Much effort and organization was put into its realization and, on behalf of the Holy See, I express deepest gratitude to the Bishops of Korea and to all concerned.
The Pavilion of the Holy See reached out to over 1.6 million visitors. It is a worthwhile activity to have the Catholic Church present in the midst of Taejon Expo, where mankind is looking to the future, to technical achievements, to travel into space. The Church at Taejon helps mankind to look at earth and at space with the eyes of the Creator and give thanks and praise to Him.
At the beginning of September I had the privilege of participating in the visit of the Holy Father to the Baltic States. Day after day with many Bishops from Lithuania, the former Soviet Union, Poland, European Countries and United States we listened to the words of the Holy Father and followed his pastoral activities. They were an inspiration for all. It was like a retreat preached to us by the Holy Father himself:
As we approach the anniversary of the Holy Father's Election, in few days time, we should p~ay much for him so that the model he presents to the world as the "Good Shepherd" may fill the life of all Bishops.
During this Plenary Assembly the Bishops will discuss the question of the International Year of the Family 1994. The Holy Father continuously places much emphasis on the family in his discourses and on the youth who are the hope of the future. May your study of this theme be fruitful for Korea. As efforts are made to construct and prepare new structures, let us hope also the quality of seminarians, priestly life and formation, sisterhoods, and life styles, will become spiritually richer, with good counselling at all stages to avoid disappointments. The Church in Korea needs well-prepared leaders for the future. There are areas where improvements may be encouraged and guided by the teaching of the Catechism of the Universal Church and the Encyclical ''yeritatis Splendor" .
We are living in a wonderful period of changes which happen before our eyes. Grace. upon grace, goodness and
the mercy of God are being poured over mankind. May we know how to respond and share this gift with all pe0ple.
May God bless the work of this General Assembly and may the Blessed Vrrgin Mary and the Korean Martyrs guide your deliberations.
Sep. 19, Vatican Day Celebration at Taejon Expo '93
Thousands of Catholics paid veneration to their martyr ancestors on the occasion of the Korean Martyrs' Feast Day, Sept. 19, when the Holy'See celebrated its National Day at the Taejon Expo' 93. H.E. Edmund Card. Szoka, the Extraordinary Envoy of Pope John Paul II, concelebrated Mass along with Most Rev. G. Bulaitis, the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, and Stephen Card. Kim, Archbishop of Seoul. Among the concelebrants were many bishops and priests.
At the flag-raising ceremony, held at the Tower of Great Lights Plaza in presence of hundreds of visitors, Card. Szoka focused his remark on true meaning of the'development of science and technology and its ultimate goal: to serve human beings.
The Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Taejon Expo, Mr. Oh Myung, said: "In the process of meeting the 'Challenge of a New Road to Development' , the theme of the Expo, we must seek to achieve harmony between tradition and technology and modern culture in order to ensure that materialistic development does not pose a threat to human life. The theme of the Vatican Pavilion The Light for All Nations - reflects the Holy See' s endeavors for the salvation of humanity and contributes to the revitalizing of the human conscience. In a world of environmental devastation where nature bears the side effects of scientific development, I trust that the Holy See will refresh the world with a correct scientific way of thinking and provides a sense of dignity of life."
Following texts are from Vatican Day celebration.
Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II
To Our Venerable Brother Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka,
It has always been our earnest desire and concern that the Catholic Church manifests her great esteem for art and culture, and for those products of human industry which have shown themselves to be so beneficial to humanity. In many places, this honor and respect has been expressed in her promotion of works outstanding both for their antiquity and workmanship.
It is also our desire that this traditional esteem on the part of the Church be dearly expressed in our own day. Hence we wish to demonstrate our deep interest in the international Exposition to be held in Taejon, Korea, from August 7 to November 7,1993. The theme of the Exposition, 'The Challenge of a New Road to Development" , calls attention to the need for modern society to reflect on past and present experiences in its efforts to ensure an integral and just development for the future.
In order that this event may be fittingly celebrated, and in response to the request of the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, we have decided to send a representative who will express our deep appreciation for the dignity and value of human industry. Knowing that you, Venerable Brother, are well suited for carrying out this office in a fitting manner, we hereby appoint you to be our Extraordinary Envoy for this International Exposition. You will duly convey our sentiments and voice our esteem for all efforts aimed at ensuring a balanced development, an improved standard of life and the increase of prosperity among peoples.
It is also our desire that you express our ardent hope and concern for the genuine progress of mankind. Finally we charge you to convey our cordial Apostolic Blessing to all present at the Exposition as a pledge of divine graces upon the efforts on all those who work for the authentic renewal of human society.
Given at the Vatican, on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year 1993, the fifteenth of our Pontificate. Joannes Paulus PP.II
Address by H.E. Cardinal C. Szoka, Extraordinary Envoy of His Holiness Pope John Paul II
It is a great privilege and a very special honor for me to be here today at Taejon Expo , 93 as the Extraordinary Envoy of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. This international exposition is of a special significance to Korea and to the whole world for many reasons. One especially important reason in that it presents scientific development in the comprehensive setting of economics, science, technology and
I express to you the gratitude of the Holy See for having been invited to participate in Taejon Expo , 93. The invitation itself is a reflection of the desire of the organizers and planners to place technological development in a comprehensive perspective.
Sciemific advances may never be seen as simply ends in themselves or as means for acquiring great wealth. All technological advances exist and come into being in order to serve human beings in one way or another. The human person is always the center of all human endeavor, development and discovery.
The Catholic Church continues even more urgently today to encourage developments in art and culture as well as scientific progress which can serve to advance the growth and development of peoples wherever they may live in this world. The theme of Taejon Expo , 93 is an excellent expression of this conviction: 'The Challenge of a New Road to Development" .
The dignity of every person from conception to death, and respect for that dignity, is at the heart and center of all human endeavor. It is a dignity which is rooted in our belief in God who created us in His own image and likeness and who is the beginning, the end and the meaning of our existence.
The Tower of Great Light, situated in the center of this Exposition site implies "a ray of light connects the present and the future in the foundation of wisdom of the past." This Tower is a profound suggestion of what the Church represents here today. The Ray of Light is the Creator in whom is found all wisdom and from whom all wisdom is derived.
Homily of H.E. Edmund Card. Szoka on the Feast of the Korean Martyrs During Vatican Day
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to begin my reflections by expressing how honored and pleased I am to be with all of you and to represent, in a most special way, the person of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, who has charged me to remind all of you of his continuing and particular affection for the Korean people and nation. During a private audience before I left Rome, the Holy Father recalled his two visits to Korea: in 1984 for a pastoral visit during which he canonized 103 Korean martyrs, and in 1989 for the celebration of the 44th International Eucharistic Congress. He asked me to tell you that he remembers those day with much joy. He is certain that the strong faith, hope and love which he experienced in Korea continue to flourish there. He unites himself with you today in prayer during this Vatican Day celebration of Taejon Expo' 93.
I wish to add to these sentiments an expression of my own personal joy in being with all of you. This is my second trip to Korea. I have seen why so many people wish to come to here and why Koreans are so justifiably proud of their land. In the Gospel passage we just heard, Jesus says to all - and it is especially important to note that he says this to all - "whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps" (Lk 9,23). These words present to us the conditions for being a follower of Christ. They very appropriately set the theme of this celebration of the great feast of the Holy Martyrs of Korea, who lived to the fullest these words of Christ and gave witness by their deaths of how much they loved the Lord. The Feast of the Korean Martyrs, which each year gives inspiration and courage to the universal Church, takes a special significance this year as we celebrate, at Taejon Expo , 93, the graces God has poured down upon all of us, especially here in Korea. As I have already emphasized, Jesus spoke His words in today' s Gospel to all. He makes it very clear that if anyone wants to be His follower, he must "deny his very self, take up his cross and follow me .
Not all are called to be martyrs. But each of us is called to be like Jesus. Each of us each day has the opportunity to become more and more like Jesus. We are real people who have days of happiness and sorrows, days of health and sickness, days of abundance and of want. We experience the pain ofworry, anxiety, discouragement. We know the struggles against temptation and the pull and enticement of sin. But we know that the same Jesus who told us that we must forget ourselves and take up our cross also assured us that He is always with us to sustain us, to strengthen us, to comfort us, for he said: "Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light" (Mt. 11,30). It is still a yoke and it is still a burden but Jesus will never fail to help us.
Just a few days ago, upon my arrival in Korea, I visited Chol-tu-san, the site of the martyrdom of so many of the saints we honor today. How moved I was to stand on that rock, to visualize both the decapitation of missionary Bishops and Korean laity, and the hurling of their corpses into the Han river. What strength, what conviction, what faith they must have had! What pride they brought to this "Hermit Kingdom" to be both Korean and Christian. It is only when one understands Chol-to-san that one understands the Church in Korea and the reason God has blessed it so abundantly. Among our martyrs stands the great and pious figure of Saint Andrew Kim, the first Korean priest. Today, in a most special way, I recall his person and his ministry, and entrust to his patronage the clergy of Korea. I have stood at Sae-nam-to, the spot where he was martyred, and there I prayed in a special way for all Korean priests.
The Taejon Expo and its theme reveal to the world the enormous technological and cultural strides which the Korean nation has made in the four decades since the terrible war which still divides one people. The fact that this Expo is celebrated for the first time in what is considered a "developing nation" indicates that the international community expects great things of Korea.
As Christians, these strides and expectations are a great challenges to us. The Church has much to say and do in the coming years. There can be no doubt in our minds or hearts that the "Road to Development" must include God if it is to be a good road, a road to "correct" development. There can be on our part no hesitancy to see and proclaim that technology without God is false and illusory. There can be no hesitancy to proclaim the God given dignity of every human being, from conception to natural death. There can be no hesitation to proclaim that all technological progress must serve the growth and development of human beings.
The Christians of Korea have much to do. As your country moves more and more into the international arena, you will be
called upon frequently to witness your discipleship to the Lord by announcing without fear or hesitancy the place of the Church in society, the place of God in people's lives, even if it demands suffering and hardship. Korea is the only country in the world in which the first evangelization was made by the Korean lay people themselves. They clung to their faith and steadfastly witnessed to their faith in spite of one hundred years of persecution, decimation, suffering and even death. You are their successors, the Korean Catholics of today. May your Korean ancestors, your Korean Martyrs be proud of you as you continue to give witness to your faith with the same courage and perseverance. May they help us to be true disciples of the Lord, ever ready to take up our crosses, however small or large they may be, and follow him.
May Mary, Queen of Martyrs, embrace the entire Church in Korea, protect it always and present it unblemished to her Son. I thank you once again for welcoming me to your land and, in the name of the Holy Father I bestow upon you all his Apostolic Blessing. Thank you.
Sep. 19, 1993
Solemn Feast Day of the Korean Martyrs Vatican Day
Vatican Pavilion Closes its 93-day Exhibition with Success
The Taejon Intemationa Exposition' 93, opened on Augu. 7 was ended on Nov. 7 and the Vatican Pavilion of the Holy . See marked its end with closing Mass presided by Rev. Dionysius Namik Pail<, Secretary General of CBCK.
• News from the Church in Korea
• A New Era of Communications to be Opened for the Catholic Church in Korea
On Aug. 31, the p' yonghwa Broadcasting Corporation (PBC. Pres.: Bishop Paula. Kim), founded in March 1988, obtained from the Korean Government official permission to establish a CATV and to start from Jan. 1995. This will mark a turning point in the history of the communications of the Catholic Church in Korea by opening a new era of media for evangelization and Church mission. With the p' yonghwa Weekly, PBC and the future cxrv, the Catholic Church in Korea has come to possess a complete high tech media system. On Oct. 4, Stephen Card. Kim expressed strong support and congratulation at the special Board Meeting of PBC held in view of the opening a CATV in 1995, calling for the solidarity and participation of all dioceses. (see in box)
"TV is an Important Media for the Mission Given to Us by Goa - - by Cardinal Kim
• Strong Reactions against Genetic Experiments
The recent experiment of genetic tech by a medical research team, affiliated with G. Washington University, has risen a serious ethical concern in Korean Catholic Church. Following the recent experiments to divide a human embryo by way of gene cloning, which will lead to the reproduction of more than two babies with same genetic charactt:ristics, strong reactions and concerns against were voiced immediately by ecclesiastic authority. They condemned it as a serious act of offensive violation of human conscience.
"Cloning or reproduction of human being is one of results, already foreseen, of anti-life mentality and practices such as genetic engineering, abortion, euthanasia and mercykilling. Freedom that goes beyond the human limit calls necessarily for human destruction. The scientists for advanced technic and especially in life science have to be geared with a clear notion on moral ethics that the ultimate goal of science lies in serving for human beings" , Rev. Song Yol-sop, Exec. Sec. of Family Pastoral Committee of CBCK, stressed in his comment.
"This particular experiment is not only a religious conce1l1 but the fact of reproducing human being of same genetic characteristics with dividing a human embryo by way of gene cloning, is an act of intolerable violation and debasement against human dignity. This is an act of destroying human being degrading it to an animal and a tool" , Rev. Thomas Yoo, Ph.D., Prof. of moral theology at Catholic University in Seoul, expressed his concern.
• Cardinal Stephen Kim Reaffirmed An Chung-gun