CBCK Newsletter

 CBCK Newsletter


CBCK Newsletter No.8 (Fall 1994)

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From the Editor:


Open Our Heart to the World

  Dear Friends,


  With much of the attention of the world focused on the Korean peninsular due to the nuclear problem in North Korea, this Summer was an eventful time for Korean people and the Korean Catholic Church. First of all, amid tensions and concerns, we experienced the dawning of hope for national reconciliation as the South Korean President Kim Young-sam and hisNorth Korean counterpart Kim II-sung agreed to meet in Pyongyang, July 25-27; the first ever meeting between the two leaders since the division of Korea in 1945. The Bishops made an urgent call to the faithful to pray with a sincere heart for a successful summit and asked for God's grace of reconciliation. The summit was postponed, however, due to the unexpected death of North Korean's President Kim II-sung on July 7. The disappointment of Korean people was great! The Church redoubled its prayers in faith and hope in God. By sharing the concerns of the Korean people, we invite you to join our hope and prayer for national reconciliation and peace in our land. In fact, peace on the Korean peninsula is important not only for us but for all humanity.
  We cannot stay with our own problems only, but have to open our heart to the world where millions of people are suffering and dying of starvation. The Rwandan situation is tragic. Politically motivated genocide caused over one million deaths since the fighting began in April. Among those who died were three bishops, 88 priests, nuns and lay leaders. Some 20,000 children lost their parents in Gorna refugee camp alone and 2.5 million Rwandans will face famine unless food is urgently supplied. Bishops appealed to the faithful to come with help for the Rwandan people through Caritas Coreana.
  In September we had two important meetings. The Asian Laity Meeting, cosponsored by the Pontifical Council for Laity, the FABC Office of the Laity and the National Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of Korea, was held, Sept.4-9, on the theme of, ''The Commitment of the Laity in the Church' s ~ission with Specific Reference to Implementing the Social Teachings" . It commemorated the 10th anniversary of the canonization of 103 Korean martyrs by Pope John Paul II.
  Also, the first Asian ~eeting of the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood was hosted by the National Office in Korea Sept.10-17.
  These two events were particularly meaningful to the Korean Catholic Church which was not founded by foreign missionaries but by the Korean lay faithful themselves who were seeking a new way of transforming their society 200 years ago. Today the Korean Catholic Church is fully committed to evangelization in Korea and to prepare for North Korean Evangelization as well.

  We count on your prayers for all these intentions.


Rev. Dionysius Namik Paik,
Secretary General,
Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea



Korean Church Hosts Fi rst Pan-Asian Laity Meeting

  The first pan-Asian laity meeting, held Sept. 4-9 in Suwon, brought together 60 delegates from 14 countries to reflect
on common concerns on mission and the role of laity in implementing the social teachings of the Church in today's Asian context. The six-day meeting which also commemorated the 10th anniversary ofthe canoniZlltion of103 Korean martyrs in Yoido in 1984 was a meaningful event and honorfor the Korean Catholic Church which was introduced and developed by lay people themselves 200 years ago. General attention was focused on the family, the workplace and dialogue with peoples ofother religions. A special callfor poor, oppressed people, women, youth andprotection ofenvironment was expressed. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Pontifical Councilfor the Laity, the Office of Laity ofthe Federation ofAsian Bishops' Conference and the National Lay Apostolate Council ofKorea.


H.E. Stephen Cardinal Kim Welcomes the Participants:


Your Eminence Cardinal Pironio,
My dear brothers and sisters in'Christ,

  Welcome all of you. Welcome to Korea those who have come from other Asian countries, and even from as far away as Rome.
  I would like to express my particular joy that Cardinal Pironio, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, is with us once again.
  During these days here, you are going to reflect on how the Church's social teaching is to be put into practice in the various Asian contexts. Some of you came from countries in which there are still many social problems caused by oppression and injustice. Even when there has been economic and political progress, we often find many suffering and alienation of poor people. Everywhere, materialism and the loss of traditional values have left many people confused about what is morally right. We are, all of us, confronted day after day with the question of how to bear witness to Christ and the love of God in today' s world. Christ calls each of us to evangelize the world. Evangelize the world! What does it mean? That means changing the world, sanctifying it by the redeeming love of God. For that to happen, 'we each of us' have to change our lives, take up our cross each day, and follow Christ. It is so easy to say' It is very difficult to do' We often feel quite helpless. We are called to love others as Christ loves them, and love the truth because Christ is the Truth.
  Such a witness to Christ is at times like a living Martyrdom. Christian living brings joy, but also constant suffering and doubt, incomprehension, and great inner struggles.
  We know that God's compassionate love made visible whenever people try to reduce human suffering in simple, practical ways.
  By Christ, encountered in simple prayer and in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we are given the strength we need to put his love into practice day after day
  By that love, a light shines out that many people are longing to see.

  I pray that during this meeting, we may come to understand more deeply what it means to become the Light of the world. All over Asia, millions are striving to put the Gospel into practice in their daily Lives, changing the world in humbly ways. They are signs of God's redeeming love. May God be praised for the witness they bear.


Message to the Lay People In Asia

  We, the participants of the first Asian Laity Meeting representing 14 countries/areas of Asia, have gathered here at Aaron House in Suwon Korea from the 4th to 9th September 1994 to reflect on the theme '''The Commitment of the Laity in Church Mission with Special Reference to Implementing the Church's Social Teachings." This meeting was co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference Office of Laity, and the ational Lay Apostolate Council of Korea. Accompanying the Asian Laity during this Meeting were His Eminence Eduardo Cardinal Pironio, President of PCL; His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Souhwan of Korea and the Bishops responsible for the Lay Apostolate Commissions in Asia.
  The Holy Father's love and concern for the laity was expressed in his message and blessing for our gathering.
  This Asian Laity Meeting was held with hope to link the roles. of the laity and the Church's Social Teachings by means of a specific Christ-centered, participation methodology to be used with small communities. We focused our attention on three vital areas for evangelization in Asia: the family, our workplace and dialogue of life with peoples of other faiths.
  We invite all the Laity of Asia to join us in our commitment to:
- Promote life in a1J its forms and to work for the discriminated and oppressed realizing that each human being is sacred;
- Listen to the voice of young people;
- Become more aware of the Church's Social Teachings and use organizations and BECs as the place for common reflection and study;
- Remember that we are called as a community centered in Christ to transform our society;
- Actively participate in the life of society working in co-operation with people and groups with common concern;
- Co-operate with our Church leaders to create opportunities for forn1ation in the Church's Social Teachings;
- Strive to live simply in a way that leads to a more authentic human development which protects our environment.

  During this meeting we have become more aware of our vital role in the life and mission of the Church. Let us stand up as Asian citizens and Christians and take seriously our responsibility to work with other Asian peoples in creating a better place to live.






1. Background

1.1. We, the participants of the first Asian Laity Meeting representing 14 countries/areas of Asia, gathered here at the Aaron House in Suwon Korea from 4-9th September, 1994 to reflect on the theme "The Commitment of the Laity in Church's Mission with Special Reference to Implementing the Social Teachings." This meeting was co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, headed by His Eminence Eduardo Cardinal Pironio, FABC Office of Laity, and the Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of Korea. Several members of the Korean Catholic Hierarchy, including His Eminence Cardinal Stephan Kim, and more than 60 delegates from Asian countries/area accompanied by bishops responsible for Lay Apostolate Commissions in the Episcopal Conferences attended the meeting. We were encouraged by the good wishes, Papal message and blessing sent by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. We greatly missed our Asian brothers and sisters from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea and Vietnam.

1.2. There has been a deepening awareness of the vital role of laity in the life and mission of the Church in the last 30 years. This means standing up as Asian citizens and Christians, and taking seriously our responsibility to work with other Asian peoples in creating a better place for all to live. A consistent fact which emerged from many group meetings: the Church' s Social Teachings, which ought to be a source of inspiration in living out our Christian life and mission, are not widely known in our Christian communities.

1.3. We therefore, hope to link the role of the laity and the Church's Social Teachings in order to focus the attention of our Churches on the vital areas for evangelization in Asia, starting with the family, workplace, and in dialogue with people of other Asian religions.


2. Objectives

2.1. Our specific objectives of this meeting were;
• to deepen our knowledge of the Church's Social Teachings
• to understand the challenges involved in implementing the thrust of the Church's Social Teachings and fortify our own commitment.
• to develop a methodology to make the Church' s Social Teachings available to the majority of the laity
• to strengthen the links between Asian churches


3. Challenges

3.1. Each delegation presented a NationaVArea report which highlighted the challenges facing local Church Communities. These reports showed the variety of difficulties that exist in Asia, ranging from extreme poverty to extreme wealth, from a threatened rural way of life to urban breakdown and chaos, from pre-industrialized situation to post industrial societies. Unjust world economic orders which favor developed nations, social injustice, racism, poverty. illiteracy, armed conflict, child labor, oppressIOn of mmontIes and exploitation of women are some of the vital issues which urgently call for an authentic Christian witness and response.

3.2. Within the Christian Communities the lack of knowledge about the Church's Social Teachings was a persistent reminder that challenged the participants to seek ways of making them more widely known in our local Churches.


4. Positive Experiences

4.1. The participants were not discouraged by the huge difficulties facing them, and were inspired by the many examples already taking place throughout Asia of attempts by individuals and groups to respond to the needs of people who are in painful and difficult situations.

4.2. It has been revealed that the laity is involved in promoting education among the faithful to provide them with social awareness. Lay persons are involved in evangelizing activities and they are being encouraged to evangelize people through their actions rather than words alone.

4.3. It has been noted with pleasure that Christian faithful in the Asian countries have discovered their national identity and they are determined to get their existence acknowledged as equal citizens in their respective countries. Many lay groups are busy in improving the socio-economic and political situation of their people guided by the respective Episcopal Commissions.

4.4. Groups of Christian faithful have launched campaigns to stop the destruction of the natural environment. They are trying to motivate people to work for the rehabilitatIOn/conservation of the environment. According to them, respect for nature is an outcome of respect for life.

4.5. Each evening there was an opportunity for cultural exchanges between the many different peoples represented at the meeting. Some insight was gained into the vast richness and depth of Asian spirit as expressed in poetry, song, dance, music, storytelling and drama.

5. Methodology

5.1. The ASIPA (Asian Integral Pastoral Approach) methodology used throughout challenged us to rely on our own experience of living within certain social co~~itions .. Rather then listening to a series of lectures, we participated 10 practical workshops where we were involved and encouraged to share and leam from each other.

5.2. Prayerful reflection on the World of God was a central part of the meeting. In our ~iscuss!ons on Farnil~ Life, Social problems and Inter-religiOUS Dialogue, our attitudes and behavior were constantly challenged by the power of the Word of God. This methodology was both a formative experience for the participants and a helpful model that could be used in our local situations at home.

5.3. Our common prayer times and liturgies were an integral part of the meeting, as we participated in the planning and conducting of worship, where the themes and questions of each day were reflected on within a prayerful context.

5.4. In particular our younger delegates showed an enthusiasm for prayer and other community activities that enriched the group and brought a new sense of life to all the proceedings.


6. Vision

6.1. The meeting clearly identified the need for an integral approach to the formation of lay people, religious. and clerical members of the church. There is a need to bridge the gap between the personal practice of the faith and the expression of social concern. The three Papal documents, Christifideles Laici, Familiaris Consortio and Redemptoris Missio were part of the preparatory study and background material for this meeting.

6.2. We examined the vision of the Church as a communion of communities, which was outlined by the Asian Bishops in Bandung 1990, and took part in a practical workshop on how to implement this vision.

6.3. The need to appreciate the riches and gifts in other religious faith traditions was emphasized, and we discussed how to overcome mutual distrust and develop harmonious and more productive ways of relating and working together with people of other Faiths in responding to the many social ills that surround us.


7. Our Commitments

We commit ourselves···
7.1. To the principle that each human being is sacred, and stress be laid on the values of love, dignity, and equality of all human beings.

7.2. To motivate people to promote life in all its forms and to work with the discriminated and oppressed in all fields of society.

7.3. To increase awareness of the Church's Social Teachings among the laity, religious and clergy.

7.4. To emphasize the importance of value education together with formal education to grow into more integrated and responsible human beings.

7.5. To spend time in daily prayer, reflection, and meditation for a deep spiritual foundation so that our commitment does not lose its original orientation.

7.6. To actively partIcIpate and cooperate with individuals/organizations/political parties that have common concerns for sociaVcivic needs. For example, liberation of the oppressed, vocational training, and assistance for food, shelter, medicines, and education.

7.7. To respect the status and dignity of women and minority groups in order to create a just society.

7.8. To listen to the voice of young people and the poor and involve them in our plans and actions.

7.9. To establish social action groups in our areas to deal with local issues of importance.

7.10. To respect the religion of others, make a comparative study of ideas and work out practical solutions where problems exist.

7.11. To remember that a collective and organized effort is better than an individual commitment.

7.12. That each delegate after returning to his/her country/area shall seriously follow up this Asian Laity Meeting at his/her personal, diocese, regional, and national level.

7.13. To live a simple lifestyle which is in harmony with nature.


8. An Appeal

8.1. Church leaders should actively involve themselves and facilitate/organize lay initiatives in social actions and peoples' movements to promote social justice and defend the basic rights of the poor and the oppressed. They should express open support for any good cause upholding truth, justice, equality, and fraternity.

8.2. The laity initiate programs in consultation and cooperation with their Bishops for the formation of the lay faithful to enable them to fulfill active role as Christians.

8.3. The bishop of every diocese together with capable and responsible laity should establish and encourage social concern groups in each of his parishes for the implementation of the Church Social Teachings.

8.4. The Church Social Teachings, for example, Centesimus Annus, Laborem Exercens, Populorum Progressio, Rerum Novarum should be made a constitutive part of the formation and the "on going formation" of lay leaders, seminarians, priests, bishops, and religious.

8.5. Documents regarding the Church Social Teachings and the Papal Encyclicals should be translated into local languages, both in original form and in simplified versions at the diocese, regional or National level.

8.6. Each diocese should conduct vocational training programs for and with the poor/oppressed and help in the placement of the unemployed and needy.

8.7. More resources and attention should be given to indepth study on the cause of social evils and the possible solutions.

8.8. Regular newsletters, seminars, exchange programs, and other channels of communication should be established to facilitate the sharing of difficulties, experiences, and achievements of different countries/areas and dioceses.

8.9. The FABC Office for Laity should make an urgent call on all the Bishops in Asia together with laity, to study seriously this "new vision" of the church as a communion of communities and the importance of laity involvement in spreading and implementing the Social Teachings of the Church.


9. Conclusion

The hospitality of our host, the Korean Catholic Community, deepened old friendships and created new bonds of fellowship between the local churches of Asia. After five days' of mutually enriching experience" we are returning home with a renewed personal faiths a commitment to the importance of community life, and a deeper understanding of the value of the participation of all the people of God in the. life of the Church. Above all there has been a growth in the conviction that we are all urgently challenged to witness to the love and compassion of Jesus Christ in the various concrete situations where we live and work especially for the poor and oppressed.




Asian Meeting of Pontifical Society of the Holy ChiIdhood


The National Office ofthe Pontifical Society ofthe Holy Childhood (PSHC) in Seoul hosted the first Asian Meeting
ofthe National Directors ofthe Missionary Childhood (MC) Sept. 10-16 in Suwon, Korea. It was attended by Rev.
Julio D. Bolia Aponte, the Secretary General ofthe MC, and 15 delegates from 8 countries including 35 local participants. 1,200 children attended the opening Mass at Chowon-dong Cathedral in Suwon diocese where H.E. Mons. Ranjith from Sri Lanka addressed keynote speech. The meeting, with theme of Actualization ofthe Missionary Childhood in Asia" focused on studies on missionary pastoral with children with objectives; to promote integration among those responsible on the national level for the MC, to give an impulse to all their good initiatives; to elaborate an operative modelfor the national and diocesan pastoral and missionary activities for children; to determine and propose guidelines for action; to serve the MC in the next three years.


Our Service at the Missionary Childhood


presented by Rev. P. Julio Daniel Botia Aponte


Principal Aim

To strengthen within the Missionary Childhood and in the ecclesial communities the missionary spirituality, animation, fonnation and organization of children, young people and their animators, so that it would be easier for them to develop the missionary cooperation in their own communities and with all the children and young people in the world.

Specific Aims:

I. to bring out and let be known the main activities, necessities and missionary projects of the Holy Childhood and of the children and young people, at regional and universal level;
2. to let the Missionary Childhood deeply investigate its own identity, its spirituality and charisma, its mission regarding the "fIrst evangelization" , the "new evangelization" .and the pastoral ;
3. to give more and renewed enthusiasm to the Holy Childhood, offering guidelines for activity and other elements of missionary spirituality and pastoral for children, young people and their missionary animators;
4. to improve and strengthen the administrative process and the other services of the General Secretariat of the Holy Childhood, for a better fulfIllment of its own mission;
5. to promote a gradual improvement of the spiritual and material cooperation of the Missionary Childhood and of the other children and young people of the ecclesial community for a better care to the necessities of other children in the world. We could then propose some concrete goals at international level, and different ones at local level(nation, diocese or parish) according to the local situation of every country. As an example you shall fInd there a few suggestions:

I . Realization of a continental meeting and of a national one, to evaluate the activities of the Missionary Childhood, decide what is necessary to do, and set off on the path of the missionary pastoral. Through those activities, one could give more strength to the Missionary Childhood in one continent, in one region and in one own country.
2. to give strength to the National Secretariats of the Missionary Childhood, through the elaboration and the realization of a plan of missionary animation, fonnation, organization and projection.
3. to have the services of the Missionary Childhood reach out not only to the children who are already its members, but also to their companions in the school and to the other children in need in their community.
4. to prepare a program of methodical missionary fonnation for the children and the animators of the Missionary Childhood.
5. to fonn an animator's group of the Missionary Childhood in every parish.
6. to intensify our service to the children, helping them to be better missionaries in their own families
7. to increase or - when possible - try to double in the next few years the economic cooperation of the Missionary Childhood of each country to the Universal Solidarity Fund.
  The Missionary Childhood of every country, strenghtened by the Holy Spirit, shall tread its own path and we will be ready to help. Here at the General Secretariat, we are organising a section of Missionary Animation & Fonnation: it shall certainly help the development of the Holy Childhood following the lines of its given aims and objectives.

Realizations and Perspectives of Holy Childhood in Asia (Excerps of the address by Bishop Malcolm Ranjith)

Asia is only 2.6% Christian and it has early two thirds of the world of vocation which is nearly 5 billion by now. It is relatively youthful population with nearly 30% of the people under 18 years of age. Thus the work of evangelisation has still a very long way to go in our continent. "Within territories entrusted to these churches-particularly in Asia ... there remain vast regions still to be evangelized" (Redemptoris Missio 37).
  The Holy Childhood in Asia as part of the Catholic communion in this vast continent has to be touched by this call and respond to it adequately. Stated the message of the delegates at the end of the International Congress on Evangelisation Dec. 1979 in Manila, Philippines, ''we believe that what our people are seeking they will fInd in Jesus and His Gospel. This conviction is born fonn our own experience of faith, hope and love. And yet somehow we have not been able to fInd way to realize this power of the Gospel, so that it can truly reach and move the minds and hearts of multitudes of our Asian people. We have not spoken His word and lived His deeds in such a way that these are heard and seen as bearing the promises and hopes of the future of mankind. Thus the communities of Christian faith in Asia are challenged to an ever renewed conversion to God's word and to a constant re-evangelisation of themselves."
  There is a vital role for Holy Childhood in this task of reevangelisaton. It has to become a movement that lays the foundation for a true apostolic renewal of the Catholics of tomorrow in Asia. The much desired renewal would happen only if this is done. Thus Holy Childhood becomes extremely important and should be an instrument of such renewal and re-evangelization of the existing Catholic communities in this continent.
  The Catholic children of Asia fonn part of the universal church and need to be motivated to sheare their heritage of faith with other cuurches within and out the continent. Thus it is essential that they be encouraged to grow in the faith within their own cultural heritage.


"In No Case Should Abortion be Promoted as a Method of Fami Iy Planning"

  Since 1962, with the economy-first polil:y ofKorea, human life and human beings were used as a tool findustrialprogress. The Korean government's project for population control introduced family planning system through a Mother and Child Health Law in 1974. From then up till today as many as 20 million unborn children were sacrificed leading our society to a paralysis ofethil:al consciousness that considers the killing ofunborn babies as an acceptable act. It led to an anti-life fashion whil:h caused serious destruction ofsocial and traditional ethil:s, values and culture. Korea became the nation with the world record for abortions with 1,500,000 abortions a year. The Korean Catholic Church, deeply concerned with such a reality, has played a key role in efforts to restore the respectfor Illlman life and ethics in our society in the light ofthe social teachings ofthe Magisterium.
  As we celebrate the 1994 International Year of the Family, designated as such by both the UN and the CatholU: Church, the Church in Korea is especially concerned about the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Development and Population since its final draft documents came up with viewpoints on the family which are unacceptable to the Church. The Family Pastoral Committee ofCHCK, whil:h is the leading nation-wide pro-life movement, issued a protest letter to the Cairo Conference and sent two protesters: Rev. Song Yul-sup, Sec. Exec. ofthe Family Pastoral Committee and Dr. Maeng Kwang-ho, Prof. ofthe Catholil: Medil:al College in Seoul.
  The letter states, 'The focus ofthe 1994 International Cairo Conference is population and development. However the final draft document ofthe Conference has treated lightly the deep relationship between population and development Many vague expressions such as 'various concepts ofthe family' need to be clearly defined··· " The following is the complete text ofthe protest letter.



At the Time of the UN Cairo International Conference on
Population and Development, We Support Life, Love and the Family



  The Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, slated for September 5-13, 1994, is a very important meeting for the future of humanity in the 21 st century. The New York Preparatory Meeting of the Cairo Conference on Population and Development, which concluded on 22 April, was to present a vision for the future of humanity conceming problems of population and development. However, it has aroused deep shock and concern because of its revised text. The text, in the name of guaranteeing the right to privacy and population control, subtly leaves open the opportunity for the creation of a culture of extreme individualism and liberalism that allow for lawful abortion and a lifestyle void of ethics that encroaches upon the family identity. Hereupon, the Family Pastoral Committee of the Korean Catholic Church wants to make clear its position by presenting the following points.
  1. The focus of the 1994 UN International Cairo Conference is population and development. However the final draft document of the Conference has treated lightly the deep relationship between population and development. The document focuses on a rather simple theory that says the problem of development can be solved by the control of population. Rather it should be addressing essential points contained in the complex issues concerning the relationship between population and development.
  We support a development that is mutual and integral in solidarity. Today, the importance of the problem in connection with development is a well known reality. But the population policy has to be a part of the development policy. That is to say that the development policy should be comprehensive and not only economic. Furthermore, from the point of view of deprivation of human nature, a development that overlooks moral aspects is not a genuine development. The root cause of underdevelopment is not only overpepulation but also, and more deeply rooted, in corruption, injustice and bad policies which have greater implications. We also must not overlook the political, cultural and economic imperialism of developed countries as major causes of underdevelopment in the third world.
  2. It is true that at the New York session people seriously discussed the problems of family, women, transmission of life, the elderly, the sexual ethics of youth as well as sexual equality, reproductive rights, and individual choice. However, it is regrettable that the essential point of marriage was excluded from the discussion. The concept of sexuality, which has formed the core of the document, is individualistic to the point that it considered marriage as outdated or irrelevant to the discussion. Also the final draft document uses the expressions "different types of family," or "plurality of forms" to portray the plurality of the modem day family. However, these expressions can lead to great misunderstandings of the true concept of family by distorting the nature of the family, defining as family those living together temporarily or those in homosexual relationships. This is to say that the document seriously risks weakening and destroying the means and policies that protect and support the family, the family ethic and culture.
  We support the family. The family is a natural institution made of free matrimonial consent between male and female.
The family is therefore "the basic cell of society" founded on natural law which precedes all human law. The rights and duties of the family, as subject, are of higher priority than those of the state and other communities. Therefore, many vague expressions such as "various concepts of the family" need to be clearly defined in order to avoid confusing the ethical aspects of family with that of homosexual relationships and sexually active people living together outside of marriage.
  3. Abortion can never be considered as a method of family planning. The final draft document expresses in broad terms abortion as a woman' s right while, on the other hand, the document only tentatively inserted a paragraph agreed upon at the 1984 International Conference on Population at Mexico City: "In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planing." Also, terms such as reproductive health or sexual health and reproductive rights, which need to be approved at the Cairo Conference, are new and require much reflection and discussion. One cannot but be confused by the intent to imprudently open up to youth and adolescents the methods of contraception and abortion, which are implicit in the above terminology. Therefore these terms should be crossed out or their scope be clearly defined because they are already understood as meaning women can freely choose abortion.
  We support life. We support the above mentioned key points of the 1984 International Conference on Population at Mexico City and think that it should be maintained in the document of the 1994 International Cairo Conference. Human life is inviolable, an irreversible fundamental value and the foundation of human rights. The expression of love through sexual intercourse and the decision of procreation belong always to the couple; the method of family planning, however, must correspond with natural law.
  4. In the final draft document, we must take note of the intention to subtly expand contraception and abortion even for youth and adolescents. All efforts must be made to protect youth from pornography, prostitution, human trafficking and venereal disease. However, the widespread lack of morality and the elimination of the rights of parents concerning their children that are found at the beginning of the final document are dangerous ideas that reflect the viewpoints of the developed countries. With this kind of attitude, youth confuse free sex for their individual lights and come to disregard the accountability and responsibility of sexual acts and the importance of mutuality in human relationships. Such contents within the document seriously infringe upon the right and duty of the parents who have to lead the youth to a proper sexual awareness.
  We support love. This love requires sacrifice and moderation but not self-satisfaction or self-indulgence. Human sexuality is sacred and implies rights and responsibilities. It should not become a mere tool of self-satisfaction. At this juncture in our journey toward the year 2000, we have to think of youth; they need to be educated, not for dissoluteness or selfishness, but for love of neighbor, sacrifice and sense of responsibility. The right and duty to do so lies foremost with the parents, and the state and society have to cooperate with them fully. Among the values that human beings must pursue, the value of love accompanied by selfsacrifice and respect for life must be advocated.
  To attempt to ruin the true nature of the family and encourage abortion, which violates the basic right to life, in this "International Year of Family" cannot be tolerated. Rather we are called to restore the dignity of life and make common efforts to return the family to its original image. The right to life and the family need to be protected and promoted prior to all other rights. The future of humanity cannot be sustained without ethics, and under no circumstances should human beings be a means or a tool of development.

August 15, 1994
The Family Pastoral Committee of the Korean Catholic Church.




Chronology of Pro-life Movement Activity


1992 Apr. : Announcement of legislative amendment of Criminal Law Art. 135.
1992 May :The Family Pastoral Committee of CBCK took a position against the government's measure to amend the Criminal Law Art. 135.
1992 May : Justice and Peace Committee ofCBCK issued a statement against adultery and abortion law.
1992 June : Priests of Ch' ongju diocese conducted anti-abortion signature campaign.
1992 June : National Lay Apostolate issued anti-bortion statement.
1992 July : The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea issued a joint statement, "Don't Kill Unborn Children" and CBCK
launched a nation-wide anti-abortion signature campaign.
1992 July : The CBCK sent to 300 Congress people anti-abortion statement and other related materials.
1992 July : The CBCK appealed the Korean residents in the US to join the anti-abortion campaign.
1992 Aug.: The CBCK sent pro-life campaign materials to 900 churches and organizations across the nation and sought cooperation.
1992 Oct. : 1,059,035 people signed the statement.
1992 Nov.: The CBCK submitted a petition to the National Assembly Session and called on the government to remove the pending Criminal Law bill Art. 135.
1993 Dec.: The Family Pastoral Committee launched a Pro-life One Million Rosary Campaign.
1994 Jan.: The Family Pastoral Committee issued a statement on "Using Fetus Brain for Parkinson Cure" .
1994 Apr.: The Family Pastoral Committee made a presentation at a public hearing on pending bill Criminal Law 135.
1994 May: The Justice and Peace Committee sponsored a seminar on theme "Human Embryo and The Problem of Artificial Manipulation".
1994 June: Total of 6,262,900 rosary prayers for life offered.
1994 Aug.: Street campaign to wear 10-week fetus feet badge launched.
1994 Aug.: A protest letter to ' 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development was issued by the Family Pastoral Committee of the CBCK.
1994 Aug. : The Family Pastoral Committee published a Korean version of "Ethical & Pastoral Dimensions of Population Trends" .



"2.5 Million Rwandans Facs Famine Unless Urgent Food Supplied"


  Caritas Coreana Committee ofthe Catholic Bishops' Conference ofKorea, Iilunched a three month nation-wide fund raising campaign to provide relieffor Rwandan refugees. The campaign, which started the second week ofAugust, is one ofmany efforts by the Korean Catholic Church to movefrom being a "Receiving Church" towards becoming a "Giving Church. " Caritas Coreana made a donation of US$184,729 in 1992 and US$1,083,744 in 1993 on behalfofthe needy in third world countries. This campaign is an effort ofthe Korean Catholic Church to promote peace and fraternity in the world and to awaken people's consciousness in respect to human life.
  The politically motivated genocide continues in Rwanda as full scale civil war is waged between the Hutu interim government and the Tutsi controlled rebel movement. Since the fighting began on April 6, 1994, there have been about one million deaths and the majority ofthe populiltion have become refugees: two million people havefled to neighboring countries such as Uganda, Angola, Tanzania, Burundi and Zaire. Some 2.5 million Rwandans, including 70,000 orphans, willface famine in the nextfive months unless they receive urgentfood aid. Over 20,000 children in the Goma refugee camp in Zaire have already lost their parents according to the report ofthe World Food Program (WEP) and Food andAgricultural organization (FAD). Three Catholic Bishops, eighty-eight priests, numerous women religious and lily leaders have been killed in this predominantly Catholic country. On top ofthis, the Batwa pygmies in Rwanda were nearly wiped out by Hutu death squads. The pygmies lived in Rwanda's rain forests until most ofthe trees were cleared to make wayfor agriculture and now survive as agriculturalklborers and pottery makers. Before the Rwandan conflict, there were an estimated 250,000 Pygmies across Central Africa. According to the report of the Association for the Promotion of Batwa, thousands of Rwanda pygmies, about 75% of them Batwa, might have been slilin or disappeared since April.
  Caritas Coreana remitted US$50,000 July 11, to Rwanda Caritas via the Caritas International and will send another
US$100,000 in the near future. The following is the campaign message of Most Rev. Ignatius Pak, the president of Caritas




Let's Help Rwandan Refugees


  Dear Brothers and Sisters,

  We send our warmest greetings to all Catholics and people of other faiths who are taking an active and generous part in the campaign of Caritas Coreana to assist needy countries and people in hunger throughout the world, especially in Asia and Africa. We pray that God may grant upon all of you abundant blessings!
  We here in Korea are living in difficult times due to the severest heat wave and drought that hit our land in the past 50 years, and to the several powerful typhoons that followed afterwards. Still, there are millions of people who suffer and die from starvation and disease every day on this planet.

  In Rwanda, Africa, over 500,000 people already have been massacred and millions of people have been displaced from their homes since ethnic civil war broke out between Hutu and Tutsi tribals on April 6, 1994. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees, frightened by the vicious cycle of retaliation, are crossing the border in-to neighboring countries every day.
  Two million Rwandans in refugee camps are dying from lack of food and medicines, and all kinds ofepidemics such as cholera and dysentery are prevalent. They even lack safe drinking water. Tens of thousands people actually are dying every day.
  Caritas International works for the overall relief of people all across the world and has been actively committed to rescuing victims not only in Rwanda but also in the many refugee camps in neighboring countries. Caritas Coreana, in the name of the Korean Catholic Church, already remitted a sum of US$50,OOO to Rwanda Cmitas via Caritas International on behalf of the refugees.

   Nevertheless, as the situation has worsened with increasing numbers of refugees and escalating misery, the United Nation made an emergency appeal to the entire world to come to the rescue of the Rwandan refugees. In response to the UN plea, Caritas Coreana of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea appeals again to the generosity and love of Korean Catholics. Let us help these two million Rwandan refugees and people in Asia and Africa who are suffering and dying from starvation and disease.
  We know well that, beyond racial and national barriers, all human beings are brothers and sisters made in the image of God. Their tragic situation is also our own tragedy.
  If there are places on our planet where people in abundance are suffering from lack of love and people are dying due to a lack of food in other places, we are partly responsible for this tragic and unbalanced situation.
  We shall reap only that which we sow. ''Remember that the person who plants few seeds will have a small crop; the one who plants many seeds will have a large crop." (2. Cor. 9,6). With the equivalent expense of one meal we can help a Rwandan refugee family buy food for a week.
  We pray God to bless your generosity with His own generosity.

August 10, 1994
Most Rev. Ignatius Pak
President The Caritas Coreana Committee of CBCK




Declaration of Peace and Reunification


  Today as we approach the 21 st century, we join hands and pray with sincere hearts to help bring an end to the Cold War era on the Korean peninsula and to open the way for peaceful reunifIcation. It is unfortunate that willIe societies throughout the world are engaged in the work of putting the Cold War era behind them and opening up new horizons, the Korean peninsula alone, like an isolated Cold War island, is immersed in a clash of political systems that is suicidal for the nation.
  ReunifIcation is already here before us. We simply haven't opened our hearts to it. In present day North-South relations, both sides still look upon each other as enemies, mired in the mistrust and hatred that are products of the Cold War. Now is not too late. Now is the time for us to repent for our past foolishness of hating each other and justifying national di vision under the flag of ideology and political systems.
  Reunification must be grounded in peace. Where there is no peace, there can be neither reconciliation nor unity. Indeed, where there is no peaceful reunifIcation there is no place in willch our lives can become one. True peace is founded upon a sincere trust in humanity. Peaceful reunifIcation is only possible when we transcend ideology and political systems, when trust in humanity and in the national community become deeply rooted within us.
  In honor of the noble aspirations of our deceased patriots, we choose today to be one with the great cause of peaceful reunification. We choose today to overcome our differences of religion and politics, to share our peace loving hearts, and to convey this to our brothers and sisters in North Korea. Even though north and south cannot join hands and sing the song of reunifIcation together, we solemnly declare that the dream of peaceful reunification is close at hand in reality.

  We who desire peaceful reunification reaffirm the three great principals of self-reliance, peace, and the grand union of our nation. Furthernlore, we strongly urge the governments of the North and South to mutually recognize each other's existence and to sincerely implement the reconciliation and cooperaation that was agreed upon in the "North and South Agreement" of 1992. We request the political leaders of both govemments to resume dialogue at the earliest possible moment.We wholeheartedly support civilian led dialogue and cooperation which can open the way for a true national coexistence and coprosperity.
  We affIrm once again that the survival and well being of our nation are directly connected with national reconciliation and reunification which are achieved through the realization of freedom and democracy, justice and equality. We desire the rebirth of the Korean people and hope for a peaceful reunifIcation that will guarantee fundamental human rights and restore the dignity of life in tills land.
  Finally, we solemnly declare today, with fIrm belief, that we will create a glorious new history by achieving the great task of unifying our nation. By drawing together the strength and wisdom of 70 million Korean people, who' s cherished desire is peaceful reunification, we also resolve to struggle against any threat of war and attempts to fIxate the division, to put an end to all forms of violence and extreme radicalism, and to overcome division and hatred through reconciliation and love.

August 15
Signed by 33 dignitaries from various sectors of society,
South Korea



Inter-Religion Rally for Peace and Reunification

  An Inter-Denominational Rally for Peace and Reunification was held August IS, at lnljingak, near the Demilitarized Zone, to celebrate the 49th anniversary of Korea's National Liberation from Japanese rule. The rally began at 5 p.m. and was sponsored by the Center for the 1994 North-South Human Chain Meeting for Peace and Reunification of the Fatherland. Tills civilian coalition, set up to promote national unification, was initiated last year by Korea's six main religious denominations (Catholic, Protestant, Buddllist, Confucian, Won Buddllist and the Chondokyo) and was joined by other civilian groups from various sectors of society. These included the Citizens Coalition for Economic Justice, Federation of Korean Trade Unions, Reunion Promotion Committee for Ten Million Separated Fanlilies, YMCA, YWCA, Hungsadan (The Young Korea Academy for the Promotion of Patriotism), and the Korean Red Cross.
  Last year on Korea's National Liberation Day, August 15, some 300,~ople formed a human chain for the sake of northsouth
uillfrcation. The aim this year was to attract as much as I million partici"pants with the hope that even more will participate in "Human Chain' 95". Next year will also be the 50th anniversary of Korea's division and has been declared as the ''year of Jubilee" by the Korea National Council of Churches (KNCC).
  The original plan and spirit of this year' s event, however, was greatly toned down from a "Human Chain" to an "Inter-Denominational Rally for Peace and Reunificatuon" in response to govemment pressure. The government, out of concem that massive street gatherings for the Human Chain in cities throughout the country might stir up extremist nationalistic fervor, especially so soon after the recent death of North Korean President Kim IISung, requested the rally's organizers to take a more moderate line this year. The day's events started with a 49 km Relay Race for Reunification from Seoul Railroad Station to lnljingak. Various other activities were held locally in eight major cities in South Korea' s eight provinces.
  Had the original plan been carried out, one-million participants would have formed two chains from cities in the south-east and south-west (Mokpo-Kwangju-Taejon-Seoul, and Pusan-Taegu-Seoul) to be joined at Seoul and extended as one chain north to the Peace Village at Panmunjom. In all, the chain would have stretched for 935 km. The chain's configuration was to form the Cillnese character (A.), meaning "human person" and pronounced "In" in Korean.
  Rev. Dionysius Paik Nam-Ik, the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of Korea (CBCK), was the Catholic Church's representative to the Human Chain Preparatory Meeting. The above declaration was read at lnljingak for the August 15 event by Stephen Cardinal Kim Soon-Hwan, Archbishop of Seoul.




News from the Church in Korea



• First National Seminar for Seminary Formation Staff

  The Catholic Bishops's Conference of Korea, along with the faculty from six major seminaries and the priests in charge of vocation d~velopment, met at the "One Heart Retreat House" in Uijongbu, June 3-8, to pray and study on matters concerning the formation and the renewal of the clergy. Their reflections focused on clarifying the nature and identity of the priesthood and envisioning its future. This was expressed in four main themes: the current situation of priestly formation in the Korean Church, the prospects and future task of the Korean Church, the development of priestly vocations, and integral human formation and education.
  The week-long session, the first of its kind, was a significant opportunity for the Korean Church as it brought the bishops together with those who directly share their concern form priestly formation.
  "we have to form our seminarians in the way that Jesus formed his Apostles living, praying, following every foot-step of Jesus," the gathering was told.
  The chief task of the seminar was to blend into a single framework the guidelines on priestly formation from the Second Vatican Council, Pope John Paul II' s 1990 Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis and the practical experience of native priests in Korea.
  Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan focused the attention of the audiences, in his closing remarks, to the urgent need of reform in present Church structures and the ways of the spiritual formation of seminarians. "Profound social, political and cultural changes, as well as globalization, calls for a change in Church practices. We have to move from parish-centered pastoral work to a pastoral approach widely open to lay participation. The formation of priests for specialized pastoral areas is vital" , he emphasized.
  Hope for the future was provided, during the months of June, July and August, in the different dioceses of Korea, by the ordination of a total 81 men as priests and 50 as deacons. Seoul archdiocese led the way with the ordination of 65 priests, six religious priests and 36 deacons. Thirteen deacons from Taegu, three from Masan and two from Suwon dioceses were ordained priests.

• Research Institute for Korean Church History Marks 30th Ann ive rsa ry

  The Research Institute for Korean Church History (Founder & Dir.:Rev. Andrew Choi Sok-woo) celebrated its 30th anniversary of foundation, Sep.1 0, at Myongdong Catholic Center. Since its inauguration in September, 1964, the Institute has made a remarkable contribution to the research of Korean church history and documentation of materials on Korean catholic martyrs for their canonization. It has carried out development and research of the Korean church history through various publications and holding talks and seminars.
  With more than 200 religious and academic leaders attending, the event also celebrated the pubLication of the fLfSt book of the 8-volume Korean Catholic Encyclopaedia of which the work was mis en rout last Feb. 24 and the fmal issue is expected to come out by 1998. The Institute first published in 1985 the Korean Catholic Encyclopaedia of 2000 pages after five years of hard work and research. The 232th issue of "Church and History" , a monthly bulletin, was published this month. The Institute has sponsored so far over 100 monthly meetings and talks on the history of the Korean catholic church.

• Special Committee for 2010 Pastoral Research Estab I i shed

  A special committee for 2010 Pastoral Research was formed, May L9, at the CBCK building in Seoul under the sponsorship of the Pastoral Institute of Korea. The new committee aims to develop pastoral policy that will meet the needs of the Korean Church and society in the year 2010. It hopes to propose an effective pastoral policy by putting together the results of research on problems related to change. The committee will present a clear vision for future mission in the light of the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, "Evangelij Nuntiandi", and "Gaudium et Spes" of the Second Vatican Council.
  Areas to be studied include: national evangelization and globalization of the Korean Church, parish apostolate, family apostolate, Christian life, culture and faith, youth education, national reunification and North Korean mission, social structure and administration, and apostolates for an aging population and women.
  Eight people including Rev. Shim Sang-tae, the President of Research Institute for Korean Christian Thought, and Rev. Choi Duk-ki, professor at Suwon Catholic University, were appointed as committee members.


• Confe rences on Inculturation

  The Pastoral Institute of Korea and the Research Institute for Korean Christian Thought co-sponsored the fourth academic conference on Christian inculturation under the theme of ' The Gospel' s Encounter with the Truth of Buddhism" . Its fifth conference addressed "An Understanding of Personality in the Thought of Tasan" .
  In the fourth conference, Fr. Yang Jae Oh from Suwon Catholic College presented a Christian approach to the Mahayana Buddhist concept of bodhisattva - one who compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to save others. Prof. Lee Jae-sook from Songshim Women's University compared the Christian mystery of kenosis, the self-emptying for God in the Incarnation, to sunyata (emptiness) in Buddhist thought.
  At the fifth conference, Prof. Keum
Chang-tae from Seoul National University
in his presentation attempted to reinterpret
the theory of humanity in Tasan from the
Christian and religious perspective. Tasan,
Chong Yak-yong(I762-1836), was one of
the most prominent realist scholars who
reinterpreted Confucian thought under a
Christian Influence, seeing human beings
as superior and autonomous free beings in
comparison to other creatures.

• Cathol ic Church to Raise Unification Funds


  The Catholic Church of Korea has been independently raising funds to prepare for eventual national unification, in parallel with a government move to set aside money for the same end. Beginning with the Archdiocese of Seoul, most of the dioceses in Korea except the Military Ordinariate are participating in the unification fund raising campaign. The dioceses of Taegu, Inchon, Suwon, Chongju and Masan began to collect money beginning last year. In early 1992, the Seoul archdiocese decided more than 3% of all parishes' annual budgets would be allocated as unification funds. In the same year the CBCK passed a resolution on the collection of money for this purpose at its annual autumn conference, following a proposal by the Right Rev. Placid Ri, president of North Korean Evangelization Committee of CBCK.
  The method of raising funds varies according to the situation of each diocese, either by allocating or collecting money.


• Publication of Guidel ines on Cathol ic Medical Ethics

  A guideline of Catholic medical ethics, based on Catholic teachings and viewpoints, was drawn up by ten experts of moral theology and Canon Law under the guidance of Most Rev. Andrew Chang-mu Choi, the Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul.
  According to Bishop Choi, "Confusion and misunderstanding in the practice of medical ethic have been caused by the lack of clear guidelines." Ten categories are presented in question-answer form, based on areas related to medical treatment and human life, from the perspective of Catholic principals. They include Church teachings on abortion, sterilization, right to life of fetus, donation of organs, experiments on human body, test tube baby, brain death and transplants of organs.
  Bishop Choi explained, "A presentation of Church teachings on medical ethics was needed from a unified theological viewpoint. Until now, those in medical and hospital work had to consult priests who are experts in moral theology and Canon Law on questions of medical ethics."


• Church in Korea and China to Promote Pastoral Cooperation


  Establishing a sisterhood relationship between Suwon and Jilin dioceses is seen as a concrete step in developing pastoral exchange and cooperation between the two dioceses. Bishop Angelo Kim Namsoo of Suwon diocese and Fr. Abraham am Tae-jun, 33, the diocesan administrator of Jilin and Korean Chinese, announced the official agreement July 12 at Suwon diocesan Office. Jilin has about 60,000 Catholics and 26 priests, 100 nuns and 50 seminarians. Of them more than 5,000 are ethnic-Korean Chinese, including five seminarians. Bishop Kim stated that the purpose of twinning relationships is to promote better understanding, Christian cooperation and assistance both at the material and pastoral levels. Under the agreement, Suwon diocese will provide support for language studies.
  Fr. am said, "A great deal of religious change is occurring in China since it took an open policy vis-a-vis religion. But we have financial problems. This assistance of Suwon diocese will be very much appreciated." Bishop Kim, who began his seminary studies at age 16 in Yanbian in China, has a particular concern for the progress of north-eastern China.


• Bishops of China Visit Seoul

  A ten-member delegation of the Catholic Church in north-eastern China, including China-appointed Bishop Jin Pei Zian of Shenyang, met Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan of Seoul, June 25, during a visit to the capital. Bishop Jin Pei )(jan became the first bishop of the Chinese government-approved Church to visit South Korea. Meeting with Cardinal Kim, they discussed the Church in China and An Chung-gun (Thomas), a Korean Catholic who killed Ito Hirobumi, the Japanese Colonial Ruler, Oct. 26, 1909 at Harbin (China) railroad station. Bishop Jin told Cardinal Kim that his father and An were close friends and An is a respected Korean patriot in China.
  The delegation said, 'The situation of the Church in China has improved much in recent years and Church activities, such as the management of nursing homes, are supported by the government." The delegation included Fathers Guo Shu Min and Yan Tai Jun from Jilin diocese, Sister Wen de Yuan and five lay people. Many of the Catholics in north-eastern China are ethnic Koreans.

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