_ From the Editor:
_ 2018 Spring General Assembly of the CBCK
_ In Apology for the Case of Sexual Violence by a Member of the Clergy
_ Message for the Jubilee Year of Lay People (Summary)
_ Message for theWeek of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018
_ Message of the CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People
_ Message for Overseas Aid Sunday 2018 (Summary)
_ The Lives of 124 BlessedMartyrs of Korea
From the Editor:
Mission of Evangelization and Saving People
In today’s Korean society we face many difficulties. Foremost among these prob- lems is the increasing number of people who fail to live lives worthy of their human dignity. Thus, the Catholic Church in Korea should strive ever more to bring about the evangelization of society, so that people come to live increasingly humane lives.
Since every man and woman is created in the image and likeness of God, no one is more valuable than any other. “What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor” (Ps 8,5-6).
A human being who is precious in the eyes of God is made up of both body and soul. The existence of the soul leads us to reflect on life after death. None of us can live alone; we all live in community. Therefore, we cannot forget about our neigh- bors, as Jesus tells us: “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25,40).
The purpose of Jesus’ coming to earth was to save people. At the moment when the woman who had been caught in adultery was about to be stoned to death, Jesus saved her by saying: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (Jn 8,7). In a similar manner, making a charcoal fire and putting fish on it, Jesus awaited the disciples who had betrayed Him, intending to encourage them who were in a desperate state after His death (cf. Jn 21:9).
We Korean Catholics should actively take part in saving people. To do so, we should recognize the value of others in whatever situations they may be, and no mat- ter how they treat us. All men and women are precious because they were created in the image of God. And for this reason we should remember the salvation of others and not just our own.
Jesus, seeing the potential of all, embraced sinners, who, in those days, were socially excluded. He breathed the spirit of life into them so that they could be people of God. We also must share His life-giving spirit with our neighbors, encouraging and loving them. Therefore, we should give strength to those around us and take part in the redemption of all. If we succeed in transforming even one person, our lives will become more meaningful. Through the witness of living a Christian life this land will be evangelized and those living in our society will be led towards salvation.
Fr. Thomas Aquinas Kim Joon Chul
Executive Secretary of the CBCK
2018 Spring General Assembly of the CBCK
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) held its 2018 Spring Gen- eral Assembly at the Conference Hall of the Catholic Conference of Korea from March 5 to 9, 2018. At the assembly the following decisions were made:
1. The bishops approved the Korean translation of the Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio by Pope Francis, De Con- cordia inter Codices, and of the provi- sions of the Code of Canon Law modi- fied accordingly, which the CBCK Com- mittee for Canonical Affairs (President: Most Rev. Paul Hwang Chul-soo) had completed and submitted. On May 31, 2016, Pope Francis issued De Concordia inter Codices which modified some norms of the Code of Canon Law with the aim of achieving harmony between the provisions of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches. The new Korean version of the Code of Canon Law will be pub- lished; in which all the provisions revised after the publication of the existing 1983 Code of Canon Law are incorporated.
2. The bishops decided to issue a statement on the 70th anniversary of the Jeju April 3rd Uprising and Massacre in the joint names of the members of the CBCK Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs, on Easter Sunday (April 1, 2018). The statement is in memory of the victims and is pointed towards the evangelical meaning of peace and reconciliation all which takes place in the light of the resur- rection.
3. The bishops elected the Most Rev. Basil Cho Kyu-man and the Most Rev. Peter Chung Soon-Taick as delegates for the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (scheduled for October 3 to 28, 2018 with the theme “Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment”).
4. The bishops reappointed Rev. Thomas Aquinas Kim Joon Chul as the CBCK Executive Secretary and the CCK General Secretary with a second three- year term of office from 2018 to 2020.
5. Regarding the recent case of sexual violence perpetrated by a priest, the bish- ops discussed some necessary measures to be taken by the Catholic Church in Korea and made the following decisions:
1) “The CBCK Special Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Violence in the Church” (tentative title) is to be estab- lished so that on an institutional level sex- ual assaults and sexual scandals involving Catholic priests may be prevented. The President of the CBCK will serve as the ex officio president of the Special Com- mittee, and he is to be assisted by about ten members made up of experts drawn from the clergy, religious, laymen and laywomen.
The Special Committee’s activities shall include research in the following areas:
① a joint study to deal with sexual assault (sexual violence) perpetrated by priests;
② an analysis of the causes of sexual violence and discrimination among priests, religious and the faithful in the Church, and a study and proposal for sys- tematical improvements in this area including the Church’s renewal;
③ a study on the legal procedure in relation to a priest accused of sexual assault and on the planning for initial and ongoing formation of priests in this area;
④ a study on the protection of human rights and support plans for victims of sexual violence.
2) Each diocese will set up a channel at their diocesan office to receive reports of incidents of sexual assault in the Church. To do this, each diocese will des- ignate a diocesan reception place for vic- tims and guide the faithful on how to report incidents of sexual violence, if needed. In addition, a phone number and an e-mail address for the purpose of reporting incidents will be announced and pastoral measures put in place so that the diocesan bishop can directly deal with cases received.
3) Priests are to be actively trained in ecclesiastical guidelines and regulations, in accordance with the rules of both canon and civil laws, concerning punish- ments and penalties for perpetrators in the cases of sexual violence.
4) It will be required to thoroughly familiarize seminarians and priests with the gravity of sexual assault during initial and ongoing formation of priests, and to provide relevant education for all clergy in all seminaries and dioceses. The dioce- san bishops recommend renewal for priests on appropriate occasions: the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctifica- tion of Priests, priestly training programs and retreats. Such renewal ought to emphasize periodical examination of conscience, regular confession, and all ecclesiastical regulations on the ministry and the life of priests.
Message of the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea
“In Apology for the Case of Sexual Violence by a Member of the Clergy”
Dear brothers and sisters in the faith, and all Korean people,
All the faithful as well as many Korean people were deeply shocked and indignant at the recent news regarding the case of sexual violence perpetrated by a priest. Together with my fellow Korean bishops, who are responsible for their priests, we were saddened and devastated by this dis- turbing news.
On behalf of all the bishops, I would like to extend our sincere and humble apology to the victims of this case and all those who have been so disappointed in and angry with the priests of the Catholic Church in Korea. Considering the gravity of the case and admitting our lack of vigi- lance concerning the formation of our priests, all the Korean Bishops, includ- ing myself, announce the stance of the Church in Korea as follows:
1. Sexual scandals involving Catholic priests are truly disappointing and disgraceful, for priests should be living signs of religious commitment and moral consciousness and should be protectors of the precious gift of priest- ly celibacy. Thus, we are grateful for the courage shown by the female vic- tims, who, over a long period, have suffered by having to nurse their anger and wounds in their hearts but who now speak out concerning sexual mis- conduct carried out by priests. This is a stinging rebuke to some priests who have indulged themselves in the con- temporary secularized culture of plea- sure seeking. On the part of the Catholic Church, this acts as an appeal for her to undertake deeper reflection and renewal. We willingly accept this rebuke given by the faithful who long for reform and renewal of the Church. We realize that we must repent for our complacency and move forward so as to become true light and salt within society.
2. The Catholic Church in Korea takes seriously cases of sexual abuse and scandals involving clergy. Neces- sary investigations and follow-up mea- sures, such as suspensions and dis- missals, have been undertaken by each diocese in accordance with the Code of Canon Law and the related guidelines of the Holy See.
In the recent case of sexual vio- lence, the concerned diocese has sus- pended the accused priest from his sacred ministry and is now initiating a proper legal procedure. In the mean- time, each diocese strives to faithfully observe Pope Francis’ will to protect the rights and dignity of women and prevent them from being violated through sexual abuse in the Church. In order to avoid sexual scandals involv- ing clergy appropriate education is offered through priestly formation, periodic training programmes, and retreats for priests. Psychological counselling and various forms of treat- ment are also available to priests. Despite these undertakings, sexual misconduct by some priests has result- ed in not only undermining their priest- ly dignity but also in bringing about mistrust and disappointment among the faithful.
Concerning the recent case and other similar allegations, the Catholic Church in Korea, with deep regret and remorse, assures you of a proactive response to each case by conducting a solid and proper examination and investigation. If such an allegation turns out to be credible, the accused priest will be punished in accordance with both canon and civil laws. In this regard, the Catholic Bishops of Korea shall undertake serious discussions to discover the best ways by which to strengthen priestly spirituality and modify or reform the educational and guiding systems for priests.
3. We, the Korean Bishops, once again ask forgiveness from all the faithful who have been affected by sexual misconduct and the hypocrisy of some priests.
We also apologize for the disap- pointment and hurt caused to the Kore- an people who have trusted in Catholi- cism. These unfortunate incidents have been disclosed during this Lenten sea- son, the time of conversion and repen- tance. This may be looked upon as God’s calling for the true conversion of priests. We fully realize that the misconduct of some priests may destroy the credibility of the Church and cause a faith crisis for some believers. Keeping this in mind, we will exert ourselves to lead in a manner that encourages priests to live humble and penitential lives.
In addition, we bishops together with our priests will fully respect the dignity of women, a noble gift from God, in both Church and society. In particular, we will, as best we can, look for ways to assist those suffering as a result of sexual abuse carried out by priests. We would like to humbly express our deepest sorrow and regret in front of all the Catholic faithful. We ask you to remain vigilant and pray that this sad event may be transformed into an opportunity for renewal of the priesthood.
February 28, 2018
Archbishop of Gwangju
President Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea
Message for the Jubilee Year of Lay People (Summary)
Let us Restore Human Dignity in Solidarity in the Love and Mercy of the Lord!
On the Occasion of the Jubilee Year of Lay People
Praise be to Jesus,
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the initiation of the Catholic Lay Apos- tolate Council of Korea. In commemo- ration of this the Catholic Lay Aposto- late Council of Korea suggested that 2018 be declared a Jubilee Year for Lay People. Subsequently, the bishops unanimously approved this initiative at the 2017 Autumn General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK).
We should be proud of the fact that the Catholic Church in Korea was established through the efforts of the Korean people. In this unique and unprecedented manner, the Christian faith was brought to Korea not by for- eign missionaries but by Korean lay people. Throughout the persecutions lay people took the lead in Church life and exerted themselves to invite priests to Korea.
St. Paul Chong Ha-sang, accompa- nied with the Blessed Paul Yun Yu-il, the Blessed Mathias Choe In-gil, and the Blessed Saba Ji Hwang, painstak- ingly traveled to Beijing many times to encourage priests to go to Korea. He also appealed to the Pope to send mis- sionaries to Korea; he wrote the Sang- jae sangseo, a book of apologetics for use by the Catholic Church against the persecutions.
The Blessed Augustine Jeong Yak- jong, as leader of the lay community, ‘Myeongdohoe’, devoted his life to missionary work and the formation of the faithful. To do this he wrote the Jugyo yoji, a catechism in Korean. We also remember other martyrs who committed themselves to the Church during the Joseon Dynasty in Korea: St. Luke Hwang Sok-tu; the Blessed Columba Kang Wan-suk; Servant of God Louis Gonzaga Yi Jon-chang, Apostle of Naepo region.
Since 1866, when the freedom of religion was allowed in Korea by the France–Korea Treaty, lay people have made great contributions to mission work through devotional organizations such as the Legion of Mary, the Cursil- lo, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Society for the Deceased, and the Society for Rosary, among others. There have been many outstanding lay people who played active roles in Korean society as well as in the Church: Paul Kim Hong-seop, a judge and godfather to death row prisoners; Beatrice Choi Jeong-suk, pioneer in education on Jeju Island; Augustine Seo Sang-don, a leader of the National Debt Redemption Movement; John Chang Myeon, a prime minister and exemplary believer; Joseph Sunwoo Kyoung-shik, a doctor who devoted his life to the care of the poor.
It is also necessary to cherish the important roles played by lay people in the Catholic Church in Korea today. Even though some criticize believers for living their faith in a passive man- ner conforming strictly to hierarchical structures, many of the faithful do much good work.
From Laity Sunday, November 19, 2017 until Laity Sunday November 11, 2018 we will celebrate the Jubilee Year of Lay People. Because of this Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence throughout the jubilee year. The Apostolic Penitentiary will soon publish a decree in which the condi- tions to obtain a plenary indulgence will be set out.
During the jubilee year, I look for- ward to the active participation of the laity in the Church. The teaching of Vatican Council II still resonates in today’s Church: “They are co-workers in the various forms and modes of the one apostolate of the Church, which must be constantly adapted to the new needs of our times” (cf. Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolic Actu- ositatem, n. 33). In the eyes of God, all servants are equal whether they received one talent, two talents or five talents. The Lord says to us all, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small mat- ters, I will give you great responsibili- ties. Come, share your master's joy” (Mt 25,23).
I would also like to ask priests and religious for their cooperation. We must work together for the Church which is on an earthly pilgrimage towards God. We are members of the one body of which Christ is the head. “If (one) part suffers, all the parts suf- fer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it” (1Cor 12,26-27).
Let us pray for the help of Blessed Mary. Lady of Mercy, intercede for us to be obedient to the Word of God, to pray and to love each other, following your example in faith.
May the grace and peace of the Lord be yours in abundance.
November 12, 2017
The 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Bishop of Wonju
President CBCK Committee for the Lay Apostolate
Message for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018
“Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power” (Ex 15,6)
Peace be with you!
On this Week of Prayer for Christ- ian Unity 2018, I would like to share the peace of Christ with my Christian brothers and sisters and all people of good will. May the Lord fill all of you with His abundant grace. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Caribbean Christians who drafted the material for this Week of Prayer.
Chapter 15 of the Book of Exodus reminds us that our common experience of suffering is often necessary for our journey towards unity. For Israelites to be chosen as God’s people the funda- mental event necessary was liberation from enslavement in Egypt. For Chris- tians such a journey towards God cul- minates in the incarnation of Christ and the Pascal mystery. Although liberation and salvation is ultimately in the hands of God, He also invites humanity to cooperate in order to accomplish His plan for the redemption of His people.
The Caribbean Christians who pre- pared the material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018, have suffered from colonial exploitation for hundreds of years. While colonizers used the Bible as justification for their oppres- sion of the subjugated, the enslaved peo- ple believed that the Lord would be on their side to free them from slavery.
The theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018 reflects Caribbean Christians’ experience of the liberating action of the Lord. Just as the Israelites gave praise through the song of Moses and Miriam to God who freed them, the Caribbean people sang a song of triumph and liberation in their 1981 hymn which was to become an ‘anthem’ of the ecumenical movement in the region. Caribbean Christians’ choice of this song for the ecumenical movement is not just a commemoration of their struggle for freedom. Because of histori- cal oppression, the collective psyche has been wounded and low self-esteem has become a problem exacerbated by poverty, violence, injustice, and drug addiction, leading to more complicated and serious social problems and a weak- ening of human dignity. Caribbean Christians are free from slavery but are facing social problems rooted in the legacy of their colonial past. Similar problems prevail around the world and reflect some of the challenges waiting for the response of Korean Christians.
Christians are people who share their experiences of God’s saving action. Through baptism, we experience the salvation of the Lord who defeated Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea, and we participate in His life and death. Christ- ian baptism signifies not only a confi- dence in God’s ultimate triumph, but it is also the source of strength that enables us to overcome our sufferings through concrete actions.
Around this time last year, Koreans had a dramatic experience not unlike a story from the Bible. It is difficult to ful- fill one’s responsibility in society when one’s conscience is dulled, and social order and laws are not observed. The Lord revealed what was once hidden in the darkness, and citizens raised up their voice in one accord and took action to rebuild their lives: “we will not give up the truth.”; “The Republic of Korea is a democratic republic. State authority emanates from the people.” While, in the past, there existed some ideological divisions between us, we were united in our trust of justice at last. Such a shared experience will be of great help in build- ing a sound society in the future.
What is our song to the Lord, the Redeemer, here in Korea? The Gospel is not for rulers; the Gospel cannot be used to degrade human dignity. The authentic Gospel takes root in life and teaches jus- tice and peace. We need to strive not only to unite all Christians but also to embrace our social responsibilities as Christians. Christians in Korea are split in two: Protestants and Catholics. This religious division bears a remarkable resemblance with the ideological divi- sion that resulted in the partition of Korea into north and south. We have spent much time confirming our com- mon roots as Christians, now it is time to go further and work towards unity.
We would like to invite all Chris- tians to join in the salvation history of the Lord who stretches His right hand, glorious in power, to protect us and lead us towards liberation and freedom. Let us give thanks and praises to the Lord for the wonderful things He has done along the way!
January 18, 2018
Archbishop of Gwangju
President CBCK Committee for Promoting Christian Unity & Interreligious Dialogue
Message of the CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People
As We Begin Our Journey for Peace
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests" (Lk 2,14)
I wish all of you a happy new year, filled with our Lord's grace and bless- ings.
Looking back on the past year, we have gone through a tumultuous peri- od. We have all experienced difficult situations. There was the impeachment of the president which was unprece- dented in our constitutional history, and an early presidential election was held as a consequence. There was also the continuing crisis on the Korean Peninsula because of ongoing nuclear threats from North Korea.
Since communication routes were cut off between the South and the North, we have had to live with anxi- ety as if walking on thin ice. Pope Francis, having witnessed the grave circumstances on the Korean Peninsu- la, called on the faithful all over the world to pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula through his Urbi et Orbi message at Christmas 2017 and in his message for the World Day of Peace. He did not forget to add his sincere words of encouragement to those who work for peace.
With the coming of the New Year, a peaceful breeze could be felt blow- ing across the Korean Peninsula. The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, a festival of peace, will serve as a form of momentum on the journey towards peace. Meetings between offi- cials from the South and the North became active once again. Eventually North Korea decided to send athletes, a cheerleading squad, and other per- formers to the Olympics. As a result of this ground-breaking cooperation communication channels began to operate again, and the military hot-line also reopened. This will alleviate ten- sions and become a turning point on the road towards a stable peace on the Korean Peninsula. I hope that this pre- cious opportunity will obtain mean- ingful results and promote mutual prosperity. We must bring a new era in which future generations can freely fulfill their dreams in a world with no boundaries between the south and the north.
In Korea there is a famous saying: ‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.’
This is the time to start on our long journey towards peace. In the Bible the way to achieve a true peace is plainly outlined: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again” (Is 2,4). To bring about a perfect peace on this peninsula, we must not build-up stocks of weapons of mass destruction and the goal of ‘the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’ must be realized. To attain these goals, we need to restore trust between the South and the North through frequent dialogues and meetings. We also need time to accept each other as companions and not ene- mies. When we manage to overcome the divided system and create a peace- ful regime we can remain in true peace and togetherness.
After the long years of conflict and confrontation, let us take a step forward on the path of peace leaving the past behind us. We ought to give a warm welcome to guests from the North. As Pope Francis once empha- sized, we must welcome them with fraternal affection. We are one people and we speak the same language, but we have been living in totally differ- ent political systems, in different cir- cumstances and cultures. When work- ing for unity, accepting differences is the fundamental principle of peace. We must avoid thinking about ‘differ- ence’ as something to discriminate against or as something that is not correct. It is most important to show our strength through ‘respect for each other’, another important principle of peace.
To us who are weak and fragile, our Lord gave Himself. And before His death on the Cross He left us with these words of peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (Jn 14,27). The peace which Jesus gave was not based on the power of this world, but was a peace achieved through ‘loving each other.’ When we truly love, respect, understand and accept each other, true peace will be given to us.
Soon the 2018 Pyeongchang Win- ter Olympics will begin with a spec- tacular opening ceremony. When the inter-Korean athletes march hand-in- hand, people all over the world will see them and feel the vibrations of peacefulness. Even though we are still under the Armistice Agreement, when people see South Koreans welcoming the athletes and guests from North Korea they will be overpowered by a hope for world peace. I am sure that when our fraternal affection is passed onto the athletes and people of North Korea these happenings will become firm foundations for unification.
I ask for your interest in and prayers for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics so that it can become a meaningful time when the value of peace is realized, peace not only for Korea but for all peoples around the world afflicted by conflicts and disputes.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5,9).
January 19, 2018
Bishop of Uijeongbu
President CBCK Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People
Message for Overseas Aid Sunday 2018 (Summary)
Great Strength Arises from Caring for Others
We can both discover and encounter God through those whom we meet. We can also try to reflect God so that oth- ers may find the divine image within us. On this Overseas Aid Sunday, we should remind ourselves of our mis- sion to search out God’s image in those whom we meet in our daily lives, and our task to render God’s image to the world. We should remember our responsibility to preserve God’s image and stop it from becoming obscured in this world as a result of our indiffer- ence.
When mass media shows us people living various and differing lifestyles we can discover God's presence among them. However, there are also people who help to awaken within us our responsibility to rediscover God’s image in and through humanity.
Today, many are forced to leave their homelands, fleeing political, reli- gious, and ethnic conflicts and perse- cution. Their once peaceful lives in their homelands, with prosperity, secu- rity and hope, have suddenly been turned upside-down with fear and ter- ror due to wars and persecution.
As a consequence of wars and per- secution, the global population of forcibly displaced people reached 65.6 million in 2016. Almost twenty people are displaced every minute of the day according to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) statistics. Fear and discord within neighbouring countries, into which migrants and refugees pour, is also on the rise. Pope Francis has appealed to the Church to foster a ‘Culture of Encounter’ which will pro- tect and welcome, without fear and prejudice, the increasing number of migrants and refugees. To this end, Pope Francis launched the Caritas ‘Share the Journey’ migration cam- paign on September 27, 2017.
Caritas Korea International, in con- junction with the other 164 Caritas International confederations, runs overseas aid programmes. Caritas Korea International also carries out Catholic Church aid work in Korea. Throughout 2017, thanks to the sup- port of Korea's faithful, Caritas Korea International was able to aid migrants and refugees from Nigeria, Niger, South Sudan, Burundi, Bhutan, Myan- mar, Syria, Sudan, Iraq and the Demo- cratic Republic of the Congo. The sup- port of the faithful has ignited a little ray of hope for refugees, helping them to discover God who is always with them. God's merciful face is gradually revealed to us and this world through our encounters with migrants and refugees.
This year, 2018, the Catholic Church in Korea will continue to encounter migrants and refugees through her vari- ous aid programmes so as to give them hope and courage.
Dear the faithful,
I would like to encourage you to join in this encounter.
January 28, 2018
Bishop of Chunchon
President Caritas Korea International
The Lives of 124 Blessed Martyrs of Korea
Martin In Eon-min (1737-1800)
Martin In Eon-min was born in 1737 in Jurae, Deoksan, Chung cheong-do (present day Yongdong-ri, Sapgyo-eup, Yesan-gun, Chungnam) into a noble family. He had a gentle disposition but was strong of charac- ter. From his youth he studied dili- gently and acquired a great amount of knowledge. One day he heard about Catholicism from Alexius Hwang Sa-yeong, one of his best friends, and soon began to study the catechism with him. He went to Seoul and was baptized by Father James Zhou Wen-mo.
Martin In asked his eldest son Joseph to stay with Father James Zhou and his second son married the daughter of a renowned Catholic. In order more fully to live his religious calling he renounced his home and possessions and moved to Gongju. He openly explained to his relatives, who thought his behavior was strange, why he had moved by telling them all about the Catholic teaching. However, they did not listen to him.
Martin In was arrested when the Jeongsa Persecution, which broke out in 1797, was in full swing in the Gongju area. He confessed without hesitation that he was a Catholic and wanted to give his life to the Lord. Following this he was transferred to Cheongju where he was severely tor- tured before the governor ordered that he be transferred to Haemi, his hometown.
Because of his torture in Cheongju he could hardly walk and had to ride on a horse when being taken to Haemi. At this time, it was customary that a horse was used only for public officials.
In the Haemi prison Martin In met a young Christian whose name was Francis Yi Bo-hyeon. They prayed together and encouraged each other to be faithful to the Lord. Despite all kinds of punishments, they confessed their faith in God with unshakable conviction. The magis- trate, on realizing that they would not change their minds, gave orders to beat both men to death.
According to the custom of the day, the prison guards gave Martin In his last meal, then they took him out to beat him to death. One of the prison guards picked up a big stone and hit Martin’s chest mercilessly: soon his jaw was broken, and his chest was crushed.
Martin In died in this cruel way to profess his faith in God the Most High. He died on January 9, 1800 (December 15, 1799 by the Lunar calendar). Martin In was 63 years old when he died. It is said that while he was being beaten for the last time he repeated the following words: “Yes, I give my life to the Lord freely and happily.”