CBCK Newsletter

 CBCK Newsletter


CBCK Newsletter No.4 (Fall 1993)

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From the editor:


Come to Visit the Vatican Pavilion!


Dear CBCK Newsletter Readers.


  I am very happy to publish this fourth issue of CBCK Newsletter following its appearance a year ago. Remembering that the goal of our CBCK Newsletter is in communication and mutual exchanges, my profound desire is that we can learn from and cooperate with each other through this Newsletter. As we mentioned in detail in the previous issues, the Catholic Church in Korea, commissioned by the Holy See, has done its utmost for a successful realization of the participation of the Holy See in Taejon Expo'93 which opened in August 6 for three months. Most Rev. Giovanni Bulaitis, the Apostolic Nuncio, presided at the opening ceremony in the presence of many bishops, priests, religious and dignitaries.
  The primary goal of the Church participation in this high-tech EXPO (theme: Th~ Challenge of a New Road to Development) is to humanize science and technology and to evangelize human culture which is the mission of the Church. The theme and subthemes of the Vatican Pavilion reflect it: Lumen Gentium as theme and Pro Communione et Progressione, Pro Mundi Vita, as subthemes.
  Today, I wish to invite all of you, our CBCK Newsletter readers, to come to visit the Vatican Pavilion at Taejon Expo and to be one of the many visitors coming from all over the world(500,OOO foreigners and 10 million Koreans are expected). The Vatican Pavilion tried to present the image of a pilgrim Church in a beautiful and attractive way from the creation of the world to the present time and the role of the Church as pioneer and contributor to the progress of science and culture in the history of humanity. Also the history of the introduction of the Catholic Church to Korea and its de'/elopment is shown.
  Please, don't miss this unique opportunity! I friendly invite you to come to Korea for your this summer vacation. You, our CBCK Newsletter readers, will be ~ost welcome and our special guests. Please, tell others about this marvelous event and invite your families and .friends to the Expo. If you can, please come to the celebration of the Vatican Day on September 19. Your presence will make the Vatican Day more meaningful and will encourage greatly Korean Catholic Church as well as His Eminence Edmund Casimir Cardinal Szoka (prefect for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See) who will be there as a special envoy of Pope John Paul II. Your interest in the participation of the Holy See to the Expo will be a help to His Holiness Pope John Paul II and the Universal Church.

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



Most Rev. James Ji-sok Kim Became the Second Ordinary Bishop of Wonju


- Born in Wonju, Kangwon-do, on 27 July 1940
- 1956 - 61: Studied Philosophy and Theology at the Seoul Major Seminary
- 1961-68: Studied at the P~:mtifical Urbano University in Rome, where he obtained the Bachelor in Theology
- 1968 - : Ordained to priest on June 28, 1968 in Rome
- 1968 - : Pastoral work in the diocese of Wonju
- 1990 - : Appointed Coadjutor Bishop to Most Rev. Daniel Hak-sun Tji, Bishop ofWonju, on 28 November, 1990
- 1991 - : Consecrated Bishop on 14 January, 1991

  On March 12, 1993, he became the Second Ordinary Bishop of Wonju diocese On June 15, 2:00pm, a concelebrated Mass took place in Wondong Cathedral to celebrate the succession of Most. Rev. James Ji-sok Kim as the Ordinary of Wonju diocese. Appointed Coadjutor Bishop ofWonju diocese on November 28,1990, he succeeded Most Rev. Daniel Hak-sun Tji who died on March 12, 1993, in conformity with canones 403, 3; 409,1; and 416 of the Code of Canon Law.

  Wonju diocese has 46,000 catholics with 31 parishes and 71 mission stations which are served by 56 priests, 160 nuns and 300 Sunday school teachers and catechists. It has 37 seminarians.

  "Gaudete Sempre" (1 Thes. 5,16) is my motto because the ultimate goal of faith lies in joy in God. This means the spiritual joy that one can enjoy while caring for and doing good to people. I want my pastoral focus to be on leading my people to this joy and on sanctification of the family which is a ''basic community" of the faithful. r m convinced that Christian love can reach the Church and society when it flows out from the family first" , Bishop Kim said.




Message on Prayer Sunday for the National Unity and Reconciliation

As we commemorate the 40th anniversary ofthe beginning ofKorean War (June 25, 1950 -) and the 48th anniversary ofthe liberation ofKorea from Japanese colonialism (Aug.15, 1945) the Korean Church redoubles its prayer and hopes for unity and reconciliation of the nation. On Prayer Sunday for National Unity and Reconciliation, the North Korea Evangelization Committee ofCBCK (Pres.:Rt. Rev. Abbot PlacidRi, O.S.B.) issued following message, June 20, at Myongdong Cathedral.

  Dear Brothers and Sisters,
  The true meaning of the Prayer Day for National Unity and Reconciliation is to pray for advancement of the unity of South and North Korea, divided for half a century, and the realization of peace.

  Today, the Korean peninsula is seeking more than ever for peace and reconciliation. True peace is the condition for human achievement and respect for human rights and dignity. Our history is full of experiences of tragedy and brothercide caused by the Korean War. If this war had not happen, the Korean peninsular could have realized its unity before East and West Germany unified their country. If there were not the Korean War, both side of Korea wouldn' t have paid such an immense human sacrifice. The time has come to work for peace and reconciliation of our nation. Peace is not something that can be realized ovemight. Mutual respect is the condition for a solid peace. Now it is time for North and South to take a thoughtful consideration so that each side enjoys a true peace. Peace is the condition of prosperity. Peace and prosperity go together hand in hand and they are the ultimate goal of the reunification we seek for.
  Suffering is the driving force for a new life. Therefore the effort for a genuine unity and reconciliation has to start with a concrete sharing of sufferings. South and North have ignored each other's sufferings until now but it is time to look towards each other and share each other' s pains.
  It is said that North Korea is going through economic troubles and international isolation. They might need our help. Overcoming the political confrontation we, Catholics, should make efforts to share their concerns and sufferings. If our heart remains unchanged, we can' t expect any vision of peace and prosperity even the reunification will ever be realized.

  Dear Brothers and Sisters,
  We pray to God for the Church and people in North Korea in the spirit of repentance and forgiveness trying to understand before God what is the real meaning of unity and reconciliation. We hope that our prayers bear fruits and become the source of a peaceful reunification. We want to have a common prayer service of repentance and celebration of the Eucharist for unity and reconciliation and to realize family visits for people who are over 60 years old. Also we want to assist in formation of their clergy.
  Let' s keep hope and redouble our prayers to break down the wall of division and to realize unity. Let' S pray to the King of peace to come to visit our divided land and help us to realize unity and reconciliation. We send to our brothers and sisters in North Korea the blessing of the Church, the sacrament of unity.

June 20, 1993
Rt. Rev. Placid Ri, O.S.B.
President North Korea Evangelization Committee of CBCK




"Do No Wrong to the Stranger for You Were Once Strangers Yourselves"

A Statement on Foreign Workers


  The Justice and Peace Committee of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea would like to make clear its position on the problems of foreign migrant workers in Korea, based on universal fraternal love and human rights. We believe that developed countries should make humanitarian efforts to protect and promote human dignity and overcome all kinds of human rights violations. We appeal to all people of good will but especially to employers and government authorities.

  1. Currently the number of illegal workers employed in Korea is about 64,000. They are mainly from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka but it is estimated that the majority are ethnic Koreans from China. Most of them come to Korea on a visitor' s visa that they obtained by paying exorbitant sum of money to brokers ($1,500 to U.S.$3,(00). When their visa expired they stayed on as illegal workers. Many of their difficulties arise from language, food and culture. Their work is dirty and dangerous working long hours with low pay. Not only that but their activities are restricted because their employers hold their passports. Because they are so-called illegal they do not receive compensation in the event of an industrial accident. Often they do not receive their wages. If they are not registered they face deportation by the authorities concerned as well as payment of a heavy fine. If they cannot afford to pay the fine they are detained in a special detention center.
  Frequently people consider illegal foreign workers as taking job opportunities from korean people and think that they are deprived of legal protection because they are illegal. But we believe that the principal of human rights should be respected in all places and in all circumstances. In treating the problems of foreign workers we need a well-matched mature citizens consciousness and conscious solidarity with the global family. In the past as well as today many Korean people have gone and still go to the United States, Canada, Japan and Germany as migrant workers or to earn money. It is in communion with all nations and by cooperation for the development of people that the new Korea can be achieved. If we insist merely on our own interest while ignoring these important aspects we will have to face being called 'economic animal' and will gradually be isolated from the global community.

  2. Today the movement of labor between nations is a common phenomenon in this present time. We expect our government to establish and put into effect, as soon as possible, a suitable policy concerning foreign workers. Above all the enticement of foreign workers to Korea and exploitation by brokers must be stopped. Care must be taken to ensure adequate living conditions so that they can lead a more human life in a mutual relationship as a duty and right. Recognition must be given to the positive contribution they are making to the Korean economy by protecting them by law instead of abandoning them, causing more  serious problems in the future. As it was reaffirmed in the recent Vienna Conference on Human Rights, the protection of human rights is a duty of all nations.
  Among the main human rights' abuses that foreign workers face are industrial accidents, unpaid wages and violence in the workplace. Since foreign workers are mainly employed in small scale industries with poor working conditions they ate often injured during work and ~ometimes even killed. However/the Labor Department will not give'them compensation because they are illegal workers. Compensation for industrial accidents has to do with the right to life which is a natural right and not something that a govemment can give or take away. Thus the nation has a responsibility to faithfully protect the rights and duties of workers with regard to industrial accidents which have already occurred.. This is so even if the special domain of government is making policies to prevent opportunities for illegal employment. Therefore the policy of dealing with unpaid wages of foreign workers must be revised and appropriate compensation must be paid for industrial accidents. The protection policy (3.30) of the Labor Department to tighten labor inspection in companies with regard to overdue wages and compensation for occupational accidents must be implemented.

  3. Another serious human rights violation is manipulating workers as means of production or as instruments of economic profit. We urge employers not to treat them only as employees but to consider them as genuine partners in the production process. Economy first mentality and inhuman acts such as beating, physical violence and unpaid wages are all , violations of human rights and they undermine not only trust in employers but also in all Korean people. Helping with language problems, being concerned for their welfare and taking preventive measures against industrial accidents are natural duties of employers. We hope that a just ana sincere relationship between management and labor will be realized.

  4. The Catholic church is called to work for human rights and the dignity of people on the individual and collective level. It must witness to its original image as a community of ,friendship, service and sharing. We invite you all to share universal love with foreign workers in the workplace, in the church and on the street especially with those in distress. Let' s welcome the strangers who are far from their'homeland and family as many of our people are strangers in foreign countries and we too, are pilgrims in this world. Let' s help them so that they can live with dignity as children of God. We pray for all who are committed to improve human rights and work for a better world in a spirit of universal solidarity.

July 29, 1993 .
Justice and Peace Committee

Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea




"The Meaning of the Participation of the Holy See in Taejon Expo"

The following is excerpt ofthe address given by Most Rev. G. Bulaitis, the Apostolic Nuncio, to the Seminar in Commemoration of the Holy See's Participation to Taejon Expo'93 on theme ''scientific Technology and Catholicism" onJuly 24.

  Theological Reflection


  What must be asked, however, is why the Holy See decided to accept this invitation to participate.
  Given the theme of the Taejon Expo, with its emphasis on so called "hightech" , one may wonder, perhaps with a certain amount of initial justification, why the Holy See would become involved with something so seemingly foreign to itself. After all, when one thinks of the Church one does not immediately think of hightech!
  Mature reflection, however, leads one to a deeper and more correct understanding of the "why" of our participation. First of all, it is not a question of trying to "insert" or "force" religion into an Expo dedicated principally to science. Not only is it impossible for us to do this but it would also be meaningless. For believers in God, who is the Creator and Master of the Universe, He is by his very Being already present in every activity of man, whether it be of a scientific, artistic or philosophical nature. Recall the words of Psalm 103: "How many are your works o Lord! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your riches."
  We recognize, then, that even in scientific activity and in its by-product of high-tech, the Christian not only rightly but also necessarily discovers the presence of God, God as science s beginning, its middle and its end. In this sense, Expo presents to all believers the opportunity to give honor and glory to God, without whom there is no man, no science, no development, no high-tech.
  Here too we must smile when we hear the words ''high-tech'', for what technology is higher than that of God! He is the Creator - and only He! - it was God, not man, who fashioned the world. It was God who breathed life into man, not man into God. It was God who recreated man in Christ, not man who re-recreated God. What are the first four words of Sacred Scriptures?: "In the beginning, God···"
  Man then must be seen for who he truly is: the image of God. Every good that we recognize in man, every talent he possesses, every ability about which he boasts is his only because he reflects God. This was the thought of the mature St. Paul: "if I boast, let me boast in the Lord?"
  The Church has taught us from its inception, and certainly most clearly in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, that man is called upon to participate and continue in the work of God, that work is an imitation of God' s work, because God sends forth his wisdom into man's heart and mind. In this way man can and is called to be "co-Creator" with God.
  Unfortunately, there are many today who see nothing but division between faith and technolow, often seeing the former as "imaginary' and the latter as "reality" . This attitude, of course, challenges the Church to strive ever more diligently to place man's activities, including his technological advancements, in their proper context. The world, whether it knows it or not, invites the Church to demonstrate today that both science and faith have but one and the same origin: God Himself (cf: Gaudium et Spes 36). As in the past, so too today, men of science can and must be men of faith. Any dichotomy between them must be seen to be false.
  The Church too must diligently strive to educate the world that all created things, including technology, depend upon God for their existence. In this sense the Church cannot admit of an "autonomy of temporal reality" which means independence from God. The creature disappears without the Creator!
  What the Church must do is to indicate that man' s natural gifts can develop into extraordinary achievements when, and only when, they are blessed by God. God puts life into them.

  With this in mind it seems that we are led to conclude the following regarding our participation in Expo:

  1. The place of God at Expo is not peripheral or circumstantial, but because we believe that God rightly finds a place in this Expo.
  2. The place of God at Expo is not peripheral or circumstantial, but central, for He alone is man's beginning, middle and end.
  3. The Church has as a fundamental part of this evangelical mission to indicate to the world who God is and what the world is in relation to God.
  4. The presence of the Holy See at Taejon Expo affords the Church one small but important way to counter the popular but false dichotomy between science and faith.
  5. The Church, through the Expo, gives witness not only to its lack of fear but indeed to its desire to participate in the striving and achievements of man in whatever field of activity, including "hightech" . The Church encourages men likewise to cooperate with God so as to bring forth untold riches of God's continuous creation to the benefit of humankind and that people may offer praise and tanks to Him for these gifts. I believe that all Christians and believers in God will rejoice that the Spirit of God will be present at Taejon Expo.



The Vatican Day: Sep. 19, Solemn Feast Day of the Korean Martyrs


Events: - Concelebration of Solemn Mass at the Grand Performance Hall with His Emin. Edmund Casimir Cardinal Szoka, special envoy of His Holiness John Paul n, and the Bishops' Conference of Korea
            - Performance of Orchestra and Grand Choir
            - Contest of composition & drawings in nation wide parishes




News From the Church in Korea

• 93 New Priests and 86 Deacons were Ordained

  93 priests and 86 deacons were newly ordained across the country from June to October. The number of priests and deacons and their diocese are as follows: ( ) = deacon

     Seoul Archdiocese : 39 (39)
     Taegu Archdiocese: 19 (14)
     Masan diocese : 1 (3)
     Ch' ongju diocese : 4 (5)
     Andong diocese : 4 (5)
     Taejon diocese : 9 (10)
     Ch' unch' on diocese : 2 (7)
     Carmelite Fathers : 2
     Order of F. Minor Conventual : 4
     Salesian Fathers: 4 (1)
     Passionist Fathers : (2)
     Franciscans: 2
     Society of Jesus : 4
     Order of St. Benedict : 1(2)
     Oerical C. of the RKorean Martyrs : 1(2)


• 470 Koreans Participated in 45th International Eucharistic Congress

  470 Korean Catholics with His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim who was invited to the Congress and Rev. Dionysius Namik Pail<, the Delegate of the Korean Catholic Church to the Congress, led by Most. Rev. Michael Pak, participated in the 45th International Eucharistic Congress held in Seville, Spain, June 7 to 13. Participants included 160 from the Rosario Choir, 50 from the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament group, 40 from Charismatic Renewal Movement and others.
  Prof. Thomas Han Hongsoon, a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who was invited to the Congress as one of the 59 speakers for the open lecture made a presentation on the theme of "Renewal of the Participation of Faithful" focusing on the urgent task of the Church in the area of social services, protection of right to life and evangelization of culture. The Rosario Choir presented a recital of the "Cantata" of the Korean Martyrs and while at the Congress, the members of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament group spent 24 hours in adoration.


• Korean Youth at Eighth World Youth Day in Denver, a Celebration of Life


  "Who Believes in Christ Becomes a New Person"

  The 8th World Youth Day held in Denver, in the United States, August 12 to 15, was a good occasion for the Korean young participants to experience, in the presence of Pope John Paul II, the oneness and universal friendship with 500,000 young people of so many different races and cultures from all over the world and the love of the Church for them. The culmination of the event was the solemn Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II with several hundred Bishops from the United States and other countries of the world on August 15, the Solemnity of Mary's Assumption in to heaven.
  Most Rev. Angelo Nam Sou Kim (president of CBCK and Bishop of Wonju diocese) gave a lecture to the youth on the theme of "Who believes in Christ becomes a new person" and stressed the important role of youth in the world of today; to announce the Good News to the world, especially to our brothers and sisters in the communist countries that have opened their door to the world of freedom since the collapse of communism. 'We have to announce to them the Good News of Salvation of Christ so that they can hope with us for an eternal life of happiness in God. We have to give a meaning and purpose to the world and share the freedom that we have found in Christ. But, first of all, we have to become ourselves more like Christ in order to bring Him to the world" .
  The delegation from Korean Catholic youth team was comprised' of 28 from Taegu diocese headed by Fr. Choi Hongduk, 70 from New-catecumenato from Pusan diocese and two official representatives, Miss Han Eun-shil (Francesca) and Kim Min-jong(Cecilia).


• Concerns of Korean Catholic Church for Displaced People

  Rev. Dionysius Namik Paik (Exec.Sec. of Migration Pastoral Committee) presented to the regular assembly of the International Migration Pastoral Committee held in Rome from June 15 to 18 a report on the current situation of the foreign illegal workers and refugees in Korea. The concerns and efforts of Korean Catholic Church for displaced people in Korea were brought to the attention of the Assembly which agreed that the Church has to take a lead in protecting the human rights of displaced people especially those illegal workers in foreign countries.

   As the problem of displaced people is becoming a new seed of conflict in the world, over 180 participants from 150 countries across the world expressed their deep concerns about the human rights' situation in regions of conflict such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Mghanistan and Somalia. They agreed to urge the respective governments to take proper measures to protect the human rights of migrant workers. Justice and Peace Committee of CBCK (pres. Most Rev. Joseph Kyeong) issued on July 29, a statement on behalf of foreign workers in Korea (see page 3).


• Job Training Center for KoreanVietnamese in Ho Chi Min City


  A Job Training Center for KoreanVietnamese will be opened in September 15 in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, under sponsorship of the civilian-run Supporters' Association for Korea-Vietnameses' Job Training with assistance of both governments of Vietnam and Korea. The "One Heart, One Body Movement" of Seoul Archdiocese(President: Rev. Oh Tae-sun, Moderator: Most Rev. Peter Kang) has been involved in this project since Spring 1992, $20,000.00. Following a contribution of US dollars last May, an additional donation of $300,000.00 US dollars is planned to go for 1993. One Heart, One Body Mvmt pledged 3 million U.S. dollars as a support fund for the project over a lO-year period. The Center will provide a program of 6-9 months to 300 Korean-Vietnamese for technical training on computer and automobile maintenance.
  The Protestant Church, Budhists and Businesses including Daewoo group decided in a meeting held in Seoul, Aug. 18, to participate actively in the efforts of the Catholic Church and the government on behalf of the one million Vietnam War orphans. Among 230 people who participated in the meeting were the Ambassador of Vietnam in Seoul and Labor Minister, Mr. Lee In-jae, Minister of Culture and Sports, Lee Min-sop with 8 other members of Congress. The Association has about 4000 individual members and 13 Organizations including Hankang Sacred Heart Hospital and One Heart, One Body Mvrnt.
  "We are talking a lot about 'Comfort Women' , the Korean women who were drafted by Japan for military sexual slavery, but neither criticize nor talk about the damage done to the Vietnam women by the Korean soldiers. However, it is never too late. It is time to recognize and repent our wrong doings" , Ms. Lee Woo-jong, a Congress woman, commented.
  During the Vietnamese War, about 300,000 Korean soldiers fought against Viet Cong and 7,000 of them were killed.
According to the report of the Vietnamese government there are 7000-8000 KoreanVietnameses in Vietnam.




• Celebration of 25th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

  "Let lIs.Repent of the Death Culture"

  On July 25, the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Encyclical Letter "Humanae Vitae" of Pope Paul VI, ,all dioceses and' ,parishes across the cciuntry" celebrated a Mass for Life and Family and rang their bells 25 times at 7:25pm, as a sign of repentance for the death culture that is causing 1,500,000 abortions per year in Korean society. Guide materials for homily were provided by the Family Pastoral Committee (Pres.: Most Rev. Thomas Stewart, S.S.c.) to the nation wide parishes. Also the Committee decided to replace terms of "family plan" by, "natural family plan" and "sex education' by "chastity education" and sent an open letter to each member of the Congress calling for respect for human life. (see in box)
  According to a survey conducted by the Life and Culture Research Department of Sogang University, July 1992, among 10 the five major cities, 66.6% agreed with restricted use of abortion and a further 12% with its unrestricted practice. Only 21.4% could not accept it. The survey showed that the younger and higher education people favored abortion. 8.6% of Catholics agreed with its unrestricted practice.
  If their child was to be born deformed, 86% said they wouldn't have it born, while 14% said they would accept it. When asked why they favored abortion, 84.4% said it was because other forms of birth prevention were ineffective. In trying to solve the problem of abortion, 88% thought that rather than imposing legal penalties, proper education would be more effective.



Dear M~bers of the Congress,


  We thank you for your commitment and efforts to promote the welfare of people and the prosperity of our nation. Today, we come to share your concerns about the serious reality of abortion in our country, the synonym of anti-life mentality, which is one of the key problems of our society. Since 1962, with the economy-first policy of Korea, human life and human beings were used as a tool of progress. From 1974, the year of the establishment of the Mother and Child Health Law, up till today about 20,000,000 unborn children were sacrificed and it has led our society to a paralysis of ethical consciousness that considers killing of unborn babies as acceptable act. The gravity of the problem lies in an unawareness of the consequences of such a lack of ethics. People are not aware that the damage to moral values makes greater impact on the human community than the damage to the ec0nomic and demographic order. The political reality of Korea and the advanced countries witness to the damage caused by the degradation of ethical values. Building an economy without a morality is like building a house on sands.
  The problem of abortion doesn't end there but it accelerates the trends of antilife fashion in families and society in general and causes the destruction of s0cial ethics and culture. Along with the increase of divorces, single mothers and the commercialization of sex, our society suffers from impoverishment of sexual ethics, extreme individualism, materialism and hedonism. Our society and its environment are sick.
  The UN announced 1994 as International Year of the Family. Major countermeasures are urgently needed because the future of humanity depends on the family. With respect, we urge your cooperation in order to improve our shameful and barbarian reality of 1,500,000 abortion practice per year. On our journey toward year of 2000, it is our ardent desire to create a pro-life climate based on the recovery of ethics, true love and economic progress for the good of entire humanity. We pray for an abundant blessing of God upon you ana all your family.
Thank you.

July 1, 1993
Most Rev. Thomas Stewart, S.S.c.


• 400 Korean Members of Marriage Encounter at Jubilee Celebration

  The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of Marriage Encounter(ME) was held at Rutgers University, in New Jersey, Aug. 6-8, with the theme of "Companions on the Journey" . Over 10,000 ME members from 91 countries participated in Convention and they promised to be companions on the journey of transforming the world so that our children can live in a world of justice and peace. The 400 Korean participants included 48 couples and 13 priests from Korea, and 150 couples from the United States and Canada. Korean Teams made presentation on theme ,of "Journey from the Modern World to Intimacy", "Journey to the Center of Our Sacrament", "Our Journey as a Love Response" and "A Journey of Change" .
  The ME movement among Koreans has developed rapidly due to their significant contribution to family life both in Korean and North American society. In Korea alone, there are about 30,000 couples who are committed to ME movement. Adoption of the Korean language as one of the four offical languages at the 25th ME World Conference along with English, French, and Spanish was particularly helpful for the Korean participants to the Conference.


• Seminar on "The Consecrated Life and Its Role in the Church and in the World"

  The Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women in Korea(AMSRWK) held, June 29-30, a seminar to reflect on 'The Consecrated Life and Its Role in the Church and in the World". Study and reflections on the themes of "The Nature and Identity of the Consecrated Life" , "The Consecrated Life in the Church and in the World of Today" and "The Role of the Consecrated Life" were treated in depth in presentations and workshop discussions. Subjects such as relationship with the hierarchy, inculturation, local church and women's concern were the major topics.
  Speakers were Rt. Rev. Abbot Placid Ri, OSB, Sr. Leonard Lee, Little Servants of the Holy Family and Most Rev. Peter Kang, Aux. Bishop of Seoul Archdiocese. Over 400 Sisters from 44 religious institutes throughout the country attended the seminar. The participation and the presence of priests, members of Catholic Lay Apostolate Council and Catholic Women' s Association made the seminar richer and more significant in the sense that the question of consecrated life was broadly discussed by the clergy, religious and lay people.


• Sr. Park Ki-joo Elected as First Korean Superior General

  Sr. Park Ki-joo (59, Annunciata) was elected as 23rd Superior General of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ffiVM) at its General Chapter held in Ascot, England, August 11. Sr. Park made her first religious profession in Germany, 1963, and from 1966 to 1974 she served as principal of St. Mary' s High SchOOl in Taejon. From 1974 to 1985, as Provincial Superior she worked for the development of ffiVM in Korea and in 1989 she became the principal of Schmidt' s Girls' College in Jerusalem. She is the first Korean religious among both male and female to be elected as Superior General in International Religious Institute.
  IBVM was founded in 1609 in Germany by Mary Ward (1585-1645) and has presently 3,000 members in 16 countries. It came to Korea in 1964 and was raised to the Korean Province in 1973. Their main apostolic activity in Korea is education of the young and social services. About 200 Korean members run schools, hospitals, social welfare facilities and work in parishes.
  "Her election as Superior General is truly an honor to the Korean Province of IBVM and a pride of the Catholic Church in Korea. This is the sign of the growth of the Catholic Church in Korea" , Sr. Woo Stella, the Novitiate Mistress, said expressing her joy.


• "Internal Reform, An Urgent Need for the Press", Cardinal Kim Stressed

  Stephen Cardinal Kim of Seoul Archdiocese insisted on the necessity of self-examination and internal reform in a special lecture at Korea University, May 21, on the theme of "Reform of Civilian Era and Our Task" pointing out the importance of the role of press in the reform drive that the current government is heading. He urged the press to fulfill its unique role of critical comment and to be kept in check by its internal reform. He added that the press has to be aware of its role of bringing fresh air into society and to help the government to succeed in its reform drive by a self-reform.
  "Indeed the power of the press is so mighty that it can criticize even the Blue House and military but there is no power to criticize the press. A sincere question on the reform of the press itself has to be asked" , stressed Cardinal Kim. He made a call for all people to cooperate actively in the reform drive of the current government because on it depends not only the success or failure of the Kim Young-sam' s government but also the future of our country!
  ''The civilian era doesn't mean solely that the head of the government is a civilian but it means a guarantee of freedom and well being for everybody with no exception. Hence the real reform of the civilian era shouldn't be limited to revealing the corruption of some people but to straightening our outlook on values, tainted with materialism under the 30-years long military regime" , Cardinal said.


• Association of Korean Catholic Professors Founded

  The Association of Korean Catholic Professors(president: Prof. Kim Sang-jun from Foreign Politic's Dep., Sogang Univ.) was founded on June 5, at St. Ignatius' House of Sogang University. This new Association, a merging of the existing local associations of professors, aims to promote scientific and spiritual exchanges between Catholic professors and to focus on the direction of Catholic students in campuses. This is the first association to be officially recognized as representing the Korean Catholic Professors' body. About 60 professors throughout the country joined the Association.


• The Korean Catholic Hospitals' Association Reshuffled

  The Korean Catholic Hospitals' Association (KCHA. President: Rev. Kim Tae-gun) announced, May 21, to expand its door to private hospitals run by Catholic medical doctors. This is a change from its policy of limiting membership to hospitals run by dioceses or religious institutes only. The new policy of KCHA intends to expand medical activity based on the principles of Christian ethics. "Any hospital or clinic that will accept and observe the ethical directives of KCHA will be qualified to be KCHA' s member" , they said. The decision was initiated in deep reflection and concern about an increasing anti-life trends in our society and the responsibility of Christian medical doctors. "Creating a healthy climate of medical practice based on the christian ethics and respect for human life is an urgent need for us in order to cope with unethical surgical practices. Misuse of progress of medical science for a moneymaking purpose such as abortion, differential diagnosis of sex and artificial insemination is reaching a crisis point" , Fr.Kim said.


• First Five Korean Lay Women Missionaries Returned Home from Philippines


  For the first time in the history of Korean Catholic Church fivelay women missionaries were sent to the Philippines in July 20, 1990 for a three year mission term under direction of Colurnban Fathers. They returned after having accomplished their mission successfully. Lee Kyongsook(Justina), Son Young-hee(Gemma), Cho Ha-wol (Caelina), Chang Eunyol(Columba) and Kim Jin-heui(Isidora) have worked for 'three years in various fields including a rehabilitation center for disabled people and a poor farming and fishing village. Fr. Hugh McMahon, the Director of the Colurnban Lay Mission Program, thanked them at welcoming Mass for their wonderful missionary achievement despite many difficulties. ''Taiwan and Fiji are asking us to send them lay missionaries because of your good example and successful achievement", Fr. Hugh said.
  "What a lay missionary has to do first is to evangelize oneself with open mind and eyes to a new culture and people. My priority in mission was to try to awake a sense of self-appreciation in the Philippine people of their own culture by respecting and accepting their life and culture" , Chang Eun-yol said.





A Brief History of Catholicism in Korea [3]

by Cho, Kwang, Ph.D.
Prof. of Korea University
Department of Korean History

Development of The Early Catholic Church in Korea

1. The Establishment of the Catholic Church in Korea

  Lee Seung-hoon, who received baptism in Beijing, on his return from China baptized Lee Byok in September, 1784, and formed a Christian community. It was Lee Byok who had recommended Lee Seung-hoon to meet western missionaries in Beijing and to learn about Catholic doctrine. For this reason, the baptism of Lee Byok has been considered as the beginning of the Catholic Church in Korea.
  Following the baptism of Lee Byok, Lee Seung-hoon baptized Kwon II-shin who was a descendant of a leading scholar family and who studied Catholicism from western books written in Chinese. These first three Korean Catholics, Peter Seunghoon Lee, John Baptist Byok Lee and Francis Xavier II-shin Kwon, are called the Foundin~ Fathers of the Catholic Church in Korea. These "three Apostles spread Catholicism among intellectuals of the noble class as well as the middle and lower classes and among women.
  The Christian community developed rapidly thanks to their ardent dedication to mission. They translated books on Catholic doctrine from Chinese into Korean. At this stage of the development of Church under lay leadership, they chose their own priests and began to celebrate Mass as well as administer the Sacraments. This is called the "Pseudo-hierarchy" of the Catholic Church in Korea. It was initiated with good intentions to meet the needs of the rapidly developing community, however it was also due to their ignorance on Catholic doctrine.
  Very soon they began to doubt the legitimacy of the sacraments they practiced. The leaders eventually consulted the Bishop of Beijing for an authoritative interpretation of their practice and asked for missionaries to be sent.


2. The Development of the Catho~ Church in Korea

  The Bishop of Beijing, when he received the letter from Korea, was very surprised to know that Koreans had, by themselves, formed a community of believers and practiced their faith. In response to the inquiry regarding the administration of sacraments by the pseudo-hierarchy, the Bishop said that their administration of Sacraments was, in fact, illegitimate but wouldn't raise a problem for they did it out of ignorance and with good intention. Then he promised to send a missionary to Korea where nearly 4,000 believers already existed without priest.
  As a consequence, Korea came under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Beijing and Father James Zhou Wen-mo, a Chinese priest of Beijing diocese, was sent to Korea in 1794. After his arrival, Fr. James Zhou preached the Gospel secretly with the assistance and protection of the Korean faithful. The Korean Catholic Church at that time was supported by the common pe0ple and some intellectuals from the upper class as well.
  By 1801, there were about 10,000 people who embraced the Christian faith, but this rapid growth was soon obstructed by government persecution. The Catholics attempted to contact Beijing and the Holy See. They constantly appealed to the Holy See to send missionaries to Korea and wanted to have their own diocese. As result, the Congregation of Propaganda Fidei in Rome established the Choson Apostolic Vicariate in 1831.
  The Paris Foreign Mission Society was mandated for the mission of this newly established Apostolic Vicariate. French missionaries came to Korea secretly. Bishop Imbert was one of them. In 1846, Andrew Kim Tae-gon was ordained as the first Korean priest. In early 1866, Korean Catholics numbered about 20,000 despite several harsh persecutions.


3. life of Believers

  The Catholics were persecuted not only by the Government but also by their village community and their family. In such a hard situation they eventually formed their own Christian villages in isolated places seeking for a better condition to practice their faith. Their life was unsettled and insecure for they had to move from one place to another, hiding from the persecutors. All Christians at that time were state criminals since they followed a religion which was banned by the government. In Christian villages they had a community life under the direction of their lay leaders and sometimes they shared their property in common. The French missionaries who arrived to Korea by the· later period of 19th century expressed their deep admiration for the life in Christian village saying that, ''The Christian life of Apostolic times had not diSappeared but was alive here in Korea" .
  Despite the harsh persecutions, the Korean Catholic Church developed and grew staidly thanks to the remarkable dedication of the missionaries and lay leaders. Beside that, Catholic books had been published in the Korean language which was easy to learn unlike the Chinese language that was used by the intellectuals of the noble class. This made a considerable contribution to the expansion of the Christian faith among the common people.
  The demand of the common people for human dignity and equality, which was a further driving force for the development of the Church, found a response in the teaching of the Catholic Church. The Christians could understand the new belief and respect for God in the light of their own culture, on the same terms as loyalty to their king and filial piety to their parents. As such a unique type of Korean Catholic culture was formed.

List of Articles
No. Subject Datesort

CBCK Newsletter No.5 (Winter 1993)

  • Aug 27, 2009

CBCK Newsletter No.4 (Fall 1993)

  • Aug 27, 2009

CBCK Newsletter No.3 (Summer 1993)

  • Aug 27, 2009

CBCK Newsletter No.2 (Spring 1993)

  • Aug 27, 2009

CBCK Newsletter No.1 (Advent 1992)

  • Aug 20, 2009

CBCK Newsletter

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