CBCK Newsletter

 CBCK Newsletter

 

From the Editor:

Toward An Integral Interreligious Dialogue

   “Father, rich in mercy, may the holy Jubilee Year be a time of openness, of dialogue and encounter among all who believe in Christ and with the followers of other religions in your immense love, be bountiful in mercy to all.” This is a part of the prayer of our Holy Father in the year for the Father, the last year of the Jubilee preparation. This prayer is an invitation to all those who believe in Christ and people of other religions to journey together with open hearts and in dialogue to the house of the Father who is our ultimate goal. As the Council of Vatican II declared before,  interreligious dialogue is founded on the fact that all human beings come from a single origin and are children of the one God(cf. Nostra Aetate, no.1).

   Respect for other religions, encounter and dialogue with them help us to discover the truth in their religion and to understand the common responsibility that we have to accomplish for the progress of humanity. Also, dialogue provides us the opportunity to discover the richness of our own faith. Religions are born in different times, circumstances and places of different cultures and people. Interreligious dialogue allows us to discover humanity marching towards the one and unique truth. Even though nobody knows when the humanity will recognize that “ this one truth” is the same truth, the conviction that all religions are on the same journey toward the one truth helps to germinate love and respect in each other’s heart.

   Recently, interreligious dialogue in Korea has become quite active. Sometimes we make happy jokes by saying that “it is too much!” Frequent meetings and too much to do make us “tired!” Korea is a multi-religious society and there exist innumberable religious sects. The interreligious meetings are formed by delegates of seven major religions. In a friendly atmosphere we enjoy meals together and deliberate on common projects for important social, political and national issues.

   On March 1st, we carried out the Hand in Hand Campaign for Peace and Reconciliation aimed at uniting the people of Korea, the only divided nation in the world. For lack of time and communication not as many people came as we had expected. However, we made a human chain of hand in hand for over 140 kilometers.  These days we work hard for fair general elections on April 13th. For the common good, Korean leaders of religions are united in order to think and act together. I hope that the interreligious encounters and efforts will bear abundant fruit for peace and unity of Korean people and make ‘friends of the heart” with each other.

                                                                 Fr. John Kim Jong-su

                                                                  Secretary General
                                                                 Catholic Bishops’ Conference  of Korea

 

 

 

 

Message of the CBCK for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000

Message of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea
for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000

  On the occasion of the great Jubilee of the Year 2000, the CBCK issued a message and invited the faithful and all those who aspire after salvation to enjoy true peace and  freedom in Jesus Christ and to take a dynamic step towards the new millennium. In the message the Bishops recognized that the Church in Korea has not done enough to be a living sign of the Kingdom of God in Korean history despite her remarkable growth in number and quantity; that the Church did not share enough struggles for sovereign independence while the Korean people underwent national trials and hardship under colonialism; that there was insufficient efforts for reconciliation and peace even though the Church shared the sufferings and painful journey of the Korean War and division of nation.

   The Great Jubilee that celebrates the mystery of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ and proclaims to the world divine grace and peace is here. Jesus Christ, when he entered his public life, opened the time of God’s favor and mercy by preaching the good news to the poor and the excluded ones from the society. Recalling that the Great Jubilee of the year 2000 is a time of salvation and grace of life in abundance, we invite you, our brothers and sisters, and all of you who aspire to be redeemed, to enjoy with us true peace and freedom in Jesus Christ Our Savior.

   The Church has proclaimed the Gospel throughout the centuries since the time of the Apostles. The Gospel of Our Savior was proclaimed first where the West and East met and its seeds were planted in European countries during the first millennium. Then it was expanded to all continents around the world during the second millennium. In the process of the evangelization the Church has made a significant contribution to the freedom and liberation of people. However, because of human limitations and weakness, there were times that the Church became a hindrance to evangelization by her behavior going against the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Recently, the Holy Father invited the Church to make a generous self examination and request a sincere pardon for all her mistakes and failures in the past in order to live a new life, and devote herself to a new evangelization with the grace of the Great Jubilee.

   Truly, the Church in Korea should give thanks to God for His abundant blessings and graces, and by repenting her past failures and mistakes commit herself to a new evangelization. The Church in Korea that was established on the blood of a multitude of martyrs has made a remarkable development and growth during the past two centuries. She was honored with the canonization of 103 martyrs of Korea and the 44th World Eucharistic Congress in Seoul with His Holiness  Pope John Paul II. During the past four decades while all Korean people were struggling against poverty and hardship, the lay people’s tireless efforts and sacrifices were remarkable, and the pastoral collaborations between priests and consecrated people were outstanding, especially priests’ commitment to their ministry was truly exceptional. Thanks to them the Church in Korea has become the Church of today. Indeed, the Church in Korea has grown rapidly and the number of consecrated people and priests increased considerably.

   We have to make a self-reflection, however, and admit that the Church in Korea, despite its remarkable growth in number and quantity, has not done enough to be a living sign of the Kingdom of God in Korean society. We regret that during persecutions and colonialism, our behavior and consciousness of national sovereignty were not appropriate. Indeed, we did not share enough efforts for national independence while the Korean people had underwent national trials and hardships (under Japanese colonialism). We reflect on our insufficient effort for reconciliation and peace even though we shared the sufferings and painful journey of the war and division of our people. 

   In general, the Catholic Church is respected in Koran society. Its development, however, is focused on middle class people and has not shown enough concern for the poor and marginalized people for whom Jesus had a special affection and concern. Our leaders did not take a clear and firm stand against social injustice and corruption, although they were aware of the situation, for fear that it may cause conflicts or concerns within the Church community. We have to live the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 with a new heart and new spirit by undertaking self-examination and repentance for all these faults.

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,

   On the threshold of the Great Jubilee the Church in Korea should be a living sign of the communion of the Holy Trinity so that the mystery of the Incarnation is fully revealed. To that end, the lay faithful, consecrated members and clergy should form a community of love in mutual respect and collaboration. We form one body in Jesus Christ by the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation(cf. Eph 4,7-13). We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation(cf. 1Pt 2,9-10), salt of the earth and light of the world(cf. Mt 5,13-16).

    We invite clergy to share the responsibility and authority with religious and lay people in serving the Church as pastors who resemble Jesus Christ. We invite the lay faithful to be prepared and geared with appropriate knowledge, wisdom and courage to fulfill their mission and play their proper role as the salt of the earth and light of the world within the Church and society. We invite the consecrated members to bear witnesses of the Kingdom of God through their life founded on the three evangelical counsels, to revitalize their original goal, and to continue pastoral collaboration in dioceses and parishes.

   The new millennium we are facing is a great challenge to us. With technical and scientific development the world has become a small “global village”, but the family which is the foundation of society is destroyed. Conflict and confrontation between generations, peoples, religions, nations and regions are increasingly deepened. The gap between the rich and the poor,  the economically advanced countries and under developed countries is broadened. In this reality the Church has to promote the solidarity and the principle of complementarily among Christians in order to face the challenges of the new millennium. Also, for the sake of the common good and social justice, the Church has to think of fellow human beings who are in difficulties by rejecting selfishness and personal interest. The Church has to build a world of peace and happiness by promoting harmony between labor and management, and collaboration and service among people. In this same spirit the Church has to promote interreligious dialogue and the ecumenical movement.

   The most important mission of our people at this time is to achieve peaceful reunification. For this we have to remove hostility and hatred from our heart. The Church should take the lead to promote national reconciliation, mutual assistance and genuine dialogue for peace between South and North Korea.

   Our beautiful rivers and mountains are destroyed by an economy centered development. We have devastated the nature that God the Creator gave us as the ground of life and entrusted to protect and administrate. Protection of life and environment is our sacred mission. This is a mission that we have to fulfill together in solidarity and collaboration with all people on the earth.

   It is time for the Church in Korea to make spiritual growth and leap toward a new step. For the third millennium the Church should have special interest and affection for children, youth, and their education. She should contribute to create a new culture by new evangelization and inculturation of the faith life and liturgy. In unity with the universal Church she should make a special effort for evangelization of the Asian continent with a sense of responsibility and mission.

   Let’s take a big step towards the new millennium by sharing with our neighbors the historic mission and the grace of the Great Jubilee. Let’s unite ourselves with Our Savior Jesus Christ by “renewing myself first”. Let’s create a healthy society by “building a true family”. Let’s be peace makers by “being a good friend with all”. Let’s “march together” by building social justice and the common good. May God bless us in all these efforts and help us by granting the necessary graces.

   Dear Brothers and Sisters,

   We rejoice in the 2000th year of the Incarnation of Our Savior Jesus Christ and pray to God that He grant abundant blessing upon all those who celebrate the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

                                                December 25, 1999

                                                Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea

 

 

 

 

 

Diocese of Inchon Welcomes Coadjutor Bishop

Diocese of Inchon Welcomes Coadjutor Bishop

    Pope John Paul II nominated Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san as Coadjutor Bishop of the diocese of Inch’on (area: 1,282, population: 3,553,613, Catholics: 327,866, priests: 159, men religious: 78, women religious: 481) on November 10th. The ordination Mass was concelebrated by the Korean Bishops and Most Rev. Giovanni Battista Morandini, the Apostolic Nuncio, and 100 clergy at the Puch’on Gymnasium on December 29th, presided by Most Rev. William McNaughton, the ordinary of the diocese of Inch’on. A congregation of 10,000 attended the ceremony. The ordination of the new bishop had a special meaning for the Inch’on diocese because he was the first Korean bishop in Inch’on since the diocese was established 38 years ago. He has served as pastoral administrator of the diocese of Inch’on and the spiritual director of the Catholic University of Inch’on until Pope John Paul II appointed him as the coadjutor bishop of Inch’on.

   Coadjutor Bishop Choi will succeed Most Rev. William McNaughton, the first bishop of Inch’on, when he reaches the retirement age of 75, in accordance with Canon 403, §3 and Canon 409, §1 of Code of Canon Law.

   “The ministry of bishop is not for honor but for service. A bishop must make efforts for the good of people rather than dominate people. As Jesus asked his disciples, the great one has to become the little one, and the head has to become the servant.” Most Rev. William McNaughten said to the new Bishop. To this, Bishop Choi responded: “I give thanks to God for He called me to be bishop. I know my imperfection, but I will do my best to respond to God’s call with trust in God and by following the footsteps of Bishop McNaughton who is a living example of evangelical poverty and a devoted life to God. I will do it in unity with the clergy, the religious and the faithful.”

   “Solidarity and affection of bishops, clergy and the faithful will guarantee Bishop Choi to fulfill his assignment to lead the diocese toward the new millennium in collaboration with the Mos Rev. William McNaughton.” the Apostolic Nuncio, Most Rev. G.B. Morandini said.

Profile of Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san

     1948: Born in Kimpo, Kyongki Province
     1974: Graduated from Catholic University of Seoul
     1975: Ordained to the priesthood
     1975: Assistant pastor of Pupyong 1-dong parish
     1977: Assistant pastor of Paengyong parish
     1977: Pastor of Kimpo parish
     1981: Pastor of Haean parish
     1982: Obtained master’s degree in science of education at Tankuk University, Seoul
     1983: Pastor of Simgok 1-dong
     1987: Pastoral administrator of the diocese of Inch’on
     1990: Pastoral care for overseas Koreans
     1994: Obtained master’s degree in science of religion at St. Joseph College, New York
     1995: Pastor of Sangok 3-dong parish
     1996: Professor in Catholic University of Inch’on
              (Spiritual  director and the director of The Kyoreh Research Institute for Culture)
 

 

 

 

 

Message on the April 13th General Elections

Message from the J&P Committee for the April 13th General Elections

Respect for "Life, Truth and Love" Should Be the Criteria for Discernment of Catholic Voters for the Appropriate Candidate

Most Rev. Ignatius Pak, the president of the episcopal Committee for Justice and Peace, issued on Ash Wednesday, March 8th, a message related to the April 13th general elections and presented “life, truth and love” to all Catholic voters as the criteria for the discernment of appropriate candidates. He recommended to elect politicians who are sensitive to the poor and oppressed, and work for common good. “Democracy that doesn’t respect the right to life has already lost its raison d’etre.” he underlined.

   1. The Korean people will elect members of the 16th National Assembly during the Lenten season of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. Election fever is already at high pitch. The international community’s eyes are on the election as it is the first general election of Korea - one of the newly independent countries after the Second World War - since it became a democratic state through a peaceful and horizontal transfer of political power between ruling and opposition parties. Furthermore this election is very important for us because it can be a test of the future for the new millennium. The Church hopes the Korean people will show a more matured democratic power in the process of this election. Such a hope is timely for us the Catholics who are in Lenten season, a time of conversion and grace.  We have to make this special time an opportunity to infuse the Christian spirit into the political order of the world.

   2. The political level of a state depends on the political consciousness of voters. Therefore, the mature political sense of each voter is very important. For an authentic political consciousness the Church presents  the value of “life, truth and love” in accordance with the teaching of Jesus Christ who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”. Everybody aspires after these values because they are inscribed in the heart of each person. Indeed, these values can be a useful yardstick to discern the policy of each political party, the personality and pledges of each candidates as well as for the authentic discernment of voters themselves. We present respect for “life, truth and love” as the criteria for the discernment of appropriate candidates by each voter for the April 13th general elections.

   3. The right to life is the most fundamental right of people. We have to listen to a young mother’s outcry who lost her little son in a fire accident; “Even though it is my country, I abandon it for it doesn’t protect people’s life”. The life of all, including the handicapped and elderly people has to be protected from the moment of conception to natural death. The right to life has to be protected against the culture of death such as abortion and mercy killing.
   Respect for life requires policies that can prevent all kind of violence and elements that harm life. We need policies to protect the environment from pollution and politicians who are sensitive to those who suffer from hunger and poverty, to the unemployed whose families are ruined, to people who feel their life is endangered and their dignity is distorted by all kinds of violence such as sexual violence, human trafficking and drugs. Democracy that doesn’t respect the right to life has already lost its raison d’etre.

   4. We want our country to be built on the truth. If there is no ultimate truth  to lead and control political activity, politicians can manipulate ideology and policy as a mean to secure their own power. Every policy and election pledge should be verified by the truth.
   Regionalism is not of truth. Truth is not a subjective sentiment but an objective fact. We  act rightly when we act out of the truth. Regional sentiment has nothing to do with truth. In order to build our country on  truth and freedom we should act and speak strictly out of objective truth rather than be captivated by sentiment of blood or school relationships or regionalism. We can trust only in honest politicians who act and speak from the truth.
   There are many temptations that block us from living in truth. Especially human greed has corrupted the election environment. In order to establish the proper political atmosphere, both the electorate and candidates should not be swayed for monetary reasons.

   5. The spirit of service is a basic element in the exercise of political power. Great policy and sincere personality are realized by the service of love with dedication. Justice comes from love. Therefore, the service of love is accompanied by actions for the realization of social justice. In order to be a dedicated politician one needs moral courage to reject many temptations. Politicians should resolutely refuse temptations to mobilize unfair and illegal means, false propaganda, and to aggravate mistrust and lies in order to seize and maintain power at any cost.

   6. Many of political leaders, Assembly members, ruling class people and political party members are criticized by the people. They are accused of being selfish people who are blind for personal ambition and party interests, idolaters of power and success, and corrupt politicians amassing wealth. Some times people refuse political participation itself because the political environment is filled with such morally corrupt and unjust politicians. But Catholics should not avoid political participation. On the contrary they should  implant a Christian spirit into our society by positive political participation (cf. Christifideles laici No.42).

   7. A basic principle of political life is to pursue the common good. According to this principle, we are all really responsible for all. “All of us, each and everyone, are the goal of public life as well as its leading participants”(Christifideles laici, n.42). Therefore we have to work together in solidarity for the common good. Voters, by exercising their rights in a right way, are called to work hard so that Korean politics will move in the right direction. To realize such, all people of good will should work together and make efforts in solidarity. The choice and determination of voters are essential. Because establishment of right politics is possible only when voters don’t abandon their sacred sovereignty, but exercise it appropriately. We have to bury the wrongful past and march toward the new millennium by exercising our rights and duty for “life, truth and love” through the general elections.

   8. The April 13th general elections will take place just 10 days before the Easter Sunday, the day of triumph of life. For this important day we have to prepare ourselves from the first day of Lent. “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Mt 28,20). These words of Our Lord Jesus confirm the fact that we are not alone when we practice the Gospel of love.
   Even if the whole country is in confusion with a misguided election fever, people of good will expect  to see new life sprouting out from the dust. In this Lenten season of the Great Jubilee, Christians are called to demonstrate the power of God’s love that allows mutual reconciliation and forgiveness. We hope that, by our prayer and sacrifice, this Lenten season coinciding with the general elections brings to the Korean people salvation and reconciliation, and the general election will be a national festival day.

                                                March 8th, 2000
Ash Wednesday

                                                + Ignatius Pak

                                                Bishop of Andong President / J& P Committee of the CBCK

 

 

 

President Kim Meets Pope John Paul II

President Kim Dae-jung Meets Pope John Paul II

   On March 4th, Kim Dae-jung Thomas, President of the Republic of South Korea paid a state visit to the Vatican and met Pope John Paul II during his visit to four European countries. The president thanked Holy Father for his special affection for the Korean people and proposed to him to visit North Korea in the future for peace and reconciliation of the Korean peninsula, but the pontiff said that he has no such immediate plans  to do so.

   The Holy Father highlighted the fresh initiatives taken by the president Kim to foster inter-Korean dialogue and said. “The path of reconciliation will be long and difficult, but you have not allowed yourselves to become discouraged in your endeavors to establish a climate of good and harmonious relations.” The Pope remembered also the “natural calamities and poor harvests,” suffered by North Koreans and called upon the international community to assist them in their plight.

   The Pope spoke of his apostolic visits in 1984 and 1989 to “the Land of the Morning Calm,” recalling the “warm welcome and friendliness” of the “citizens from various backgrounds and religious traditions.” He said he had observed “the difficulties and challenges facing the Korean people in their yearning for unity and their desire to create a prosperous and peaceful society, built on a solid foundation of justice, freedom and respect for inalienable human rights. The Pope highly praised Seoul’s fresh initiative to foster inter Korean dialogue.

   Underscoring the “existence of transcendent truth” the Holy Father affirmed that there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activities, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated.

   In his closing remarks Pope John Paul II expressed the hope that people of South Korea draw on their rich cultural and spiritual patrimony and build a society worthy of ancient traditions.

   President Kim praised the Apostolic See for promoting world peace and said; “The Korean people know very well that Your Holiness has dedicated yourself to the democratization of East European countries, including Poland and the termination of the Cold War. We also know you have greatly contributed to the promotion of human rights and democratization of the Third World. In particular, Your Holiness has expressed deep concern over the abuses of human rights and sacrifice of innocent lives in various conflicts and has made efforts for their peaceful resolution, including an appeal for the establishment of ‘a humanitarian corridor’ in Kosovo. At the same time, you have launched dialogue with other religious leaders, including both Protestant and Islamic leaders, by holding the World Religious Leaders Conference to turn the 21st century into the age of reconciliation and cooperation.”

   With regard to the Catholic Church in Korea the President said he hoped for its development under the excellent leadership of Pope John Paul II by saying that “The Korean Catholic Church has matured through a long period of persecution and trials. Today, there are 3.84 million Catholics and 103 saints in Korea. The Korean Catholic Church which grew up by overcoming adversity, trials and tribulations has become “light and salt” in our society. The Korean Catholic Church played a leading role in the struggle for democracy and human right under authoritarian governments of the past. It also took the lead in efforts to protect the rights of the poor as well as for reconciliation and peaceful unification. And in 1997 when all of the Korean people were suffering a setback because of the foreign currency crisis, the Church gave us courage, confidence and hope. I believe that the Korean Catholic Church will become an important foundation for peace and the development of Korean society, under the excellent leadership of Your Holiness.”

   President Kim was the first Korean head of state and first Korean Catholic president ever to be received by the Apostolic See since diplomate relations were established between the Holy See and the Republic of Korea in 1963.

 

 

 

News from the Church in Korea

News from the Church in Korea

Give Hope to Hungry People

   On the last Sunday of January, which the CBCK designated as the Jubilee for hungry people, the Most Rev. Gabriel Chang, President of Caritas Coreana, issued a message focused on sharing and concrete action of love for needy people. It should be a day of sharing for wealthy people and a day of hope for people in hunger. In order that the Great Jubilee becomes truly a year of hope poor people, we have to proclaim it not only with our lips but with concrete action from a sincere heart. The most terrible thing of our society would be to ignore the dignity and preciousness of human beings who are created in the image of God, and who are dying of starvation, misery and disease. Indifference to their suffering means to ignore the justice and love of God for the little ones in our society. Our Christian duty is to restore the justice and love of God in this world. Our conversion should be expressed by a transformation of our life and rejection of selfishness and materialism. the message read.

 Catholics Called for Lenten Penance and Charity

   Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong of Seoul archdiocese invited Catholics to penance, charity and clean elections in his Lenten message. He asked the faithful to ask Gods forgiveness for all faults of the past and to repent and do penance in the name of Korean people in South and North Korea, especially the sufferings caused by the fratricidal Korean War and its consequences. The Lenten season is a time for conversion, fasting, charity, forgiveness and reconciliation. Helping North Koreans in need is an expression of our conversion and penance, and this will advance reconciliation and unity of our divided nation. he said. The Archbishop recommended monthly celebration of Mass, fasting and rosaries for unity and reconciliation of the Korean people, and especially to be concerned for North Korean children who suffer from starvation and lack of medicines.

   With regard to the April general elections, he asked Catholic voters to exercise their voting right in an authentic way by rejecting the old practice of voting by sentiment of blood or school relations or regionalism, and by stripping off our old self and being clothed with a new self (cf. Col 3,9-10).  Only people with a mature political consciousness can make social progress and political democratization, he pointed out.

One Million Pro-Life Signature Campaign Launched

   The diocese of Chongju launched a pro-life campaign to collect one million signatures for abolition of the Mother and Child Health Law. The Most Rev. Gabriel Chang and representatives of clergy, religious communities and laity held a press conference on March 14 at Chongju Catholic Center and declared that the Mother and Child Health Law that permits abortion is a homicidal law, and thus unconstitutional. Under this law as many as 1.5 million abortions are practiced each year, they said.

   How can we build a just society and promote human rights without respecting the lives of unborn children who are unable to protect their own lives? Most Rev. Gabriel Chang asked in the statement.

   Each year, over one million abortions are carried out in Korea. This number is double the number of normal births. Of one million abortions, 98 percent are conducted illegally. Korea has become the republic of abortion of the world, Bishop Chang pointed out. The Chongju diocese will submit a petition to the 16th National Assembly session in September for the abolition of the Mother and Child Health Law.

  Taegu Archdiocese Offers Jubilee Forgiveness

   As part of the Great Jubilee celebration the Taegu archdiocese has decided to offer a complete forgiveness of parishioners unpaid debts in Church contributions so-called ecclesial taxes. Most Rev. Paul Ri of Taegu archdiocese said in his message of February 20th that all dues that the faithful promised before December 31 of 1998 will be forgiven. But for those who are unable to pay the portion they pledged for 1999 may consult their pastor to find out an appropriate solution,  One of the most important significant consequences of the jubilee is the general emancipation of all the dwellers on the land in need of being freed.(TMA, n.12). Emancipation here means essentially forgiveness of sins and remission of debts. Those who hesitate to come to the Church because of their unpaid debt should be liberated from their burden. I invite all diocesans to celebrate the Great Jubilee with the joy of Christ and to be liberated from all material and spiritual burdens, the Archbishop said. Taegu Archdiocese is the second diocese in Korea that has taken such jubilee policy following that of the diocese of Inchon.

Orthodox Church Leader to Stress Inter-Faith Dialogue and Cooperation

   The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos of the Orthodox Church said during his visit to Korea that people with different faiths should seek understanding and cooperation with each other through continued interfaith dialogue. Unlike the old days, interreligious dialogue is now common, not only with Christians but also with Muslims, Buddhists and those of other religions. In this world which is increasingly getting narrower and smaller in the name of a global village, people should seek communication and understanding instead of relying on isolation, the Patriarch said at St. Nicholas Church in Ahyon-dong on March 1st. Also he fully agreed with the proposal of the Korean National Council of Churches to make a joint celebration of Easter Sunday, 2001 with Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants. It was a second visit of a top prelate of the Orthodox Church to Korea in the 100-year history of the Orthodox mission to Korea. In his first visit in 1995 the Patriarch met Cardinal Stephan Kim Sou-hwan at Myongdong Cathedral for ecumenical talks.

North Korean Catholics Had First Great Jubilee Mass

   “I celebrated the first Mass of the Great Jubilee in North Korea. North Korean Catholics and I were very happy and moved. We prayed together for unification of our country, and that the true jubilee comes to the Church in North Korea, Rev. Thaddeus Cho Hwan-kil of Taegu archdiocese said upon his return from 9-day visit to NK from January 28th to February 5th.

   On January 29th, Rev. Cho and two other Korean priests celebrated Mass at Changchung Church and met with NK Catholic community leaders Chang Jae-on(Samuel) and Kim Ji-young(Peter). Their talk focused on the real situation of the community and its future. In Pyongyang there are two Protestant churches and one Catholic church. The Protestants have pastors and Buddhists have monks who can lead their members. Only the Catholics have no priest. They are like a flock without a pastor. Rev. Cho said.

Catholic Schools Are Required to Take More Responsibility for Handicapped Students

   Catholic schools are called to give more consideration for handicapped students while certain nationally renowned universities are criticized for not accepting handicapped students who have passed the entrance exam. In reality, among Catholic colleges only the Jesuit-run Sogang University has opened their door to handicapped students. Catholic schools have shown generous concern for students coming from child welfare institutions, poor families, fishing and farming families by establishing special selection system, but not for handicapped students, it was pointed out by the handicapped welfare institutions. To this the Catholic schools said that they are not prepared with facilities, equipment, teaching materials and professors. Lee Hui-yon, a handicapped female student in social science at Sogang university, pointed out that not giving an academic opportunity because one is handicapped is not acceptable. Sogang university was not equipped in the beginning but it gradually built up the necessary equipments like incline planes, raised blocks, toilet  and phonetic aid computer systems etc.

Catholic Hospital Opens Its Chapel to Other Religions

   As part of sharing the grace of the Great Jubilee the Holy Family Hospital in Puchon opened its chapel to Protestant worship and offered another room for Buddhist prayer ritual. Every time I announced prayer time to Catholic patients I felt sorry for those of other faiths. It is normal for non Catholic patients to have their own prayer time and worship. Today, in the spirit of the Great Jubilee, we open wide our hospital chapel for interfaith harmony and unity, especially for our patients of other religions Sr. Hong Jong-suk, the director of the hospital, said.

   On March 4th, the opening event was celebrated in a friendly ecumenical atmosphere with chorus, Buddhist ritual dance and other cultural performances at St. Joseph Hall with 400 participants.

Church in Korea Urged to Do More for Mongolia 

   The Church in Korea should do more to evangelize Mongolia since the two countries share similar ethnic, cultural and linguistic characteristics, Rev. Lee Jun-hwa, a South Korean missionary priest to Mongolia, said during his visit to Korea in last January.

   Rev. Lee Jun-hwa, the first Korean missionary priest in Mongolia, made a tour around the country with a Mongolian traditional arts performing group to promote cultural exchange between the two peoples and to raise funds for a welfare center he is planning to set up in Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital.

   Now Father Lee runs the 1,000-hectare Canaan missionary farm on the outskirt of Ulan Bator with 10 locals and a young Korean layman. I dug wells by myself in the dry plains and produced wheat and potatoes last year as the first fruits of the farm, although the crops were later stolen by some poor people. he said.

   Father Lees hope is to set up a welfare center in the capital and provide free meals for street children with the food produced by the farm.

Young CM Brothers Donate Organs

   Seven young Claretian Missionaries signed a commitment to donate their organs at their first religious profession. During my retreat meditation I decided to donate my organs as an expression of consecration of my life to God. When I expressed this desire to my Brothers they agreed to do the same with no hesitation. We are very happy to offer our body to save peoples life in this significant day of first religious vows.  Br. Park Chol-soon said. Consecrated life means a total gift of oneself to God and to our neighbors in imitation of Jesus Christ who gave his life for our salvation. My joy is great to see our young Brothers joyful and generous in their commitment, Rev. Kim Pyong-jin, the regional superior of CM said.

●  Give New Light Movement

   The Korean Catholic Hospitals association and Hanvit Bank announced a joint project to help poor blind people with the name of The Great Jubilee Project to Give New Light. A committee of 19 members was formed for and the project will be carried out in 22 Catholic hospitals across the country until January of 2001. The Project will provide medical care and surgery to the 1200 poor suffering from cataracts, glaucoma and keratitis etc. The Hanvit Bank made a donation of 1 billion won for the project. 

 

News in Brief

   Rev. Peter Chung Byong-jo, Executive Secretary of CBCKs Committee for  Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, made his first pastoral visit to the Korean Catholic communities in Iran and Uzbekistan, two predominantly Islamic countries. During his visit Rev. Chung baptized 14 Koreans in Tashkent and two in Teheran after giving each group a week of intensive catechetical instruction.

List of Articles
No. Subject Date
42 CBCK Newsletter No.42 (Spring 2003) Aug 27, 2009
41 CBCK Newsletter No.41 (Winter 2002) Aug 27, 2009
40 CBCK Newsletter No.40 (Fall 2002) Aug 27, 2009
39 CBCK Newsletter No.39 (Summer 2002) Aug 27, 2009
38 CBCK Newsletter No.38 (Spring 2002) Aug 27, 2009
37 CBCK Newsletter No.37 (Winter 2001) Aug 27, 2009
36 CBCK Newsletter No.36 (Fall 2001) Aug 27, 2009
35 CBCK Newsletter No.35 (Summer 2001) Aug 27, 2009
34 CBCK Newsletter No.34 (Spring 2001) Aug 27, 2009
33 CBCK Newsletter No.33 (Winter 2000) Aug 27, 2009
32 CBCK Newsletter No.32 (Fall 2000) Aug 27, 2009
31 CBCK Newsletter No.31 (Summer 2000) Aug 27, 2009
» CBCK Newsletter No.30 (Spring 2000) Aug 27, 2009
29 CBCK Newsletter No.29 (Winter 1999) Aug 27, 2009
28 CBCK Newsletter No.28 (Fall 1999) Aug 27, 2009

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