1993 Spring Plenary Session of CBCK
Address of the Apost. Pro-Nundo to S. P1en. Se.s.sion of CBCK
Thwards the Evangelization of Science and Thcbnology: A Joint Message of CBCK
News from the Church in Korea
A BriefHistory of Catholicism in Korea by Prof. Cho, Kwang, Ph.D.
From the editor:
May the Spirit of the Lord Fill the World!
Dear CBCK Newsletter Readers.
On the occasion of Pentecost Sunday I am happy to greet you who share our joy and concern through the CBCK Newsletter. I pray to the Holy Spirit who transformed the Apostles on Pentecost Day to transform our hearts and attitudes toward life so that we may take the lead in protecting life and the earth in accordance with the divine order of the Creator.
Today, our planet is suffering a serious illness caused by indiscriminate development and the abuse of natural resources. To show how it is serious April 22 was established as "Earth Day"! The Holy Father expressed recently his concern for the destruction of life, the environment and desertification of the land in his Lenten message. In fact, these concerns will be the major issues the Vatican Pavilion will highlight at the 1993 Taejon International Exposition. Also the goal and ethics of science as that of service to the life of the world will be treated in depth in a faith perspective. We invite you to join us in this significant event for the Church and ask for your interest in the Vatican Pavilion and your prayers for its success.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea held its Spring Plenary Session, March 15-18, and concerns about the necessity of education for formators of seminarians, the translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and fund raising on behalf of the Vatican Pavilion were among the major topics of the Conference. Also the Presidents of the National Committees of CBCK presented reports on the activities of their respective Committee.
A seminar for formators of seminarians is planned for July, 1994. The participants will include all the bishops and the professors of all Catholic Major Seminaries. The first draft of the Korean translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was presented to the Bishops' Conference but publication will take some time. Regarding fund raising for the Vatican Pavilion, a second church collection was conducted on Easter Sunday but we are not sure yet whether we will be able to cover the overall cost of the Pavilion.
Finally we invite you to join in our sorrow and prayers for Most Rev. Daniel Tji Hak Soon, called to God on March 12, and Fr. Celestin Coyos of the Paris Foreign Mission Society who dedicated 60 years of his life for the mission of Korea and was called to God on March 3, 1993. Bishop Tji who dedicated his entire life for the evangelization of local society and even experienced imprisonment for his struggle for democratization and love for oppressed people during the 70s and 80s, will long be remembered in the hearts of the Korean people.
Rev. Dionysius Namik Paik
Secretary General Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea
1993 Spring. Plenary Session of Bishops' Conference Held
The 1993 Spring Plenary Session of Bishops' Conference (President: Most. Rev. Angelo Nam Sou Kim, Bishop of
Suwon) was held at CBCK Conference Hall on March 15-18. In the light of the teachings of the Church, high-lighted in the recent Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, "Redemptoris Missio" , and the Apostolic Exhortation, "Pastores Dabo Vobis" , the Episcopal Conference stressed above all the importance of the pastoral and spiritual formation of seminarians as well as their formators. The Bishops examined activities of the National Committees under CBCK and searched for a new path for the Catholic Church in Korea towards the third millennium. Concerns for the proper formation of priests and religious were expressed in particular and call for formative and educational initiatives in this domain in the light of the up-coming ninth Synod of Bishops in 1994 on theme "Consecrated Ute and its Role in the Churcli and in the World" . Also they discussed preparations for the Holy See' s participation in Taejon International Exposition 1993 which will have a significant role to play in the evangelization of the modem world, cultures and the humanization of science and technology. The Bishops decided to issue a joint letter for a second church collection on Easter Sunday on behalf of the Vatican Pavilion. On the proposal of Most Rev. Victorinus Youn, the Chairman of tbe Episcopal Commission for Clergy and Religious, it was decided to hold a-week long Seminar for Formators of Seminarians by June 1994 in which all bishops and the entire faculty professors of all seminaries in Korea will participate. Attention was given to the completion of the first draft of the Korean translation of the New Catechism which was presented to the Bishops' Conference. It was decided to form a reading committee to advance its publication. However its publication is expected by Dec. 8, theiirst anniversary of the promulgation of the New Catechism by Pope John Paul II. The Conference was overshadowed with sadness by the death of Most Rev. Daniel Tji Hak Soon whose funeral was on March 15, the first day of the Session. The next Autumn Plenary Session will be held from October 11-15, 1993.
Easter Messages of Bishops Invite the Faithful to a New Life
The bishops ofKorea issued their Easter messages individually onApr. 11. Here are some excerpts:
Stephen Cardinal Kim of Seoul Archdiocese called for a recovery of morality in keeping with the anti-corruption drive of the newgovemment for a 'New Korea". 'The Church, as a Sacrament of unity, has to take the lead in healing the deep wounds caused by discrimination among classes and regions. Sharing our possessions with the needy and sharing their burden are necessary to conquer the poverty which persists in our society. The Church has to proclaim the Gospel, fulfilling its mission to be the salt and leaven that transform society. A 'New Korea" can be born only from such a recovery of our moral sense," he said.
Bishop Angelo Kim of Suwon diocese made a call, "to evangelize ourselves first in order to evangelize our
neighbors. The essence of the Christian faith is to witness to the death and resurrection of our Lord" .
Bishop Nicholas Cheong of Ch' ongju diocese said that ''we Christians have to take the lead in constructing a new society, built on morality, so that every one enjoys a happy life" .
Bishop Joseph Kyeong of Thejon diocese called on the faithful to practice their Christian faith in every day life, insisting that "the resurrection of Christ is neither an object of intelligence nor of archeological study but an object of faith and love. Proclaiming the Gospel is to announce the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It can bear fruit only when it is lived out in our personal life and Christ can bring victory to replace the darkness and death of our society" .
Bishop Ignatius Pak of Andong diocese stressed that, "the death of Christ is a death by love, fOIgiveness and reconciliation. That death conquered all hatred and resistance that signifies the victory of God' s love and life. We are called to be servants of love, liberating ourselves from a belief based on materialism" .
Address of the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, Most Rev. Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis to 1993 Spring Plenary Session ot the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea
My Dear Brother Bishops,
Once again it is my sincere pleasure to join you at the opening of your biannual Plenary Assembly here at the CBCK headquarters. I am grateful to you for your kind invitation. As you know, the purpose of an episcopal conference is "to promote that greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate which are fittingly adapted to the circumstances of the time and place" (cf. Can. 447). I encourage you in your efforts over the next few days, certain that the Church in Korea will certainly benefit from your hard work.
I would like to begin today by complimenting you, both as individual bishops and as a Conference, for all the admirable things you do, not only for your dioceses and the nation, but also for the Church throughout the world. It is one year now since I came to Korea as ProNuncio, and I am deeply impressed with your commitment both to the local Church and the universal Church. 1\vo important examples of this come to my mind. The first is the assistance which His Eminence Cardinal Stephen Kim made available to the Refugee Commission of New Zealand to pay for the transportation of the Vietnamese refugees from the .holding camp in Pusan to New Zealand. This work was done quietly and efficiently.
The second example is the generosity of the Conference to the people of the Sudan. The Conference, via Caritas Coreana, contributed over US $59,000.00 to the Holy See for the Sudan which the Holy Fatht;r personally distributed during his recent visit. As Cardinal Sodano recently wrote to Bishop Angelo Kim : "During His visit to Sudan His Holiness assured the Catholics there of thesupport of the whole Church. Your gift enabled him to give concrete expression to that solidarity."
There are two other points for which I wish to congratulate you. As a Conference you have worked very hard to promote the Church' s teaching conceming the value of human life in all its forms. Your recent campaign for signatures to request the Government to keep its law against abortion is an example of this and was a great success. Also, as a Conference, you exhibited admirable leadership in calling for neutrality during the most recent Presidential election. This neutrality gave strong witness to the nation of the integrity of the Church and its belief in the right of all people to self-determination.
I also thank you for the work of the Conference concerning the Holy See' s participation at the Taejon Expo. I was recently informed by the General Secretary of his visit to Rome on your behalf, and was pleased to learn that plans are proceeding well and that so many lay people are assisting in the development of the exhibit. Since, we will be the only Church participating in Expo, these efforts are most valuable and hopefully will assist in our work of evangelization.
Not so long ago I was nominated by the Holy Father as the first Papal Nuncio to Mongolia. In addition then to the Nunciature' s work for Korea, we will now also care for Mongolia. The Holy See and Mongolia haver set up formal diplomatic relations so I will go to present my Credential Letters to the President. There are three Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart (Schute Fathers) in the capital, studying the Mongol language. Before Christmas, the Holy See sent a large shipment of medicines to Mongolia through the local religious superior. In the future, however, it is hoped that the Church in Korea may be able to assist, since the shipping would be less costly than from Europe and, more importantly, because of the historical and genealogical connections between the Mongolian people and the Korean people. Bishop Peter Kang of Seoul Archdiocese has already looked into the possibility of gett~~ help from the "One Heart One Body movement.
The mission in Mongolia will require much time and patience. Nothing is going to happen over-night. However, it is not too early to begin considering how the Church in Korea, which certainly has been blessed by God in many ways, can assist in bringing the gospel to Mongolia. The ancient links between the two countries seem to insist that one day Korea will be called upon to send missionaries to Mongolia.
I would like to ·offer you some short observations of the Holy See concerning a few areas of Church life in Korea.
The first concerns Seminaries. Truly, Korea has been blessed by God in many ways, not the least of which is in the numerous vocations to the priesthood. The present need to open and expand more seminaries (Seoul, Kwangju, Taegu, Pusan, Suwon, Taejon, Inch'on) is evidence of this. The Holy See, of course, is pleased by this. And so, wishes to stress the importance of the pastoral and spiritual formation of the seminarians. Without diminishing the need for intellectual preparation, it nevertheless must be recognized that our priests must first and above all be holy. Here we must seriously consider the importance of appointing Professors to our seminaries who are not just academically qualified but also spiritually qualified. I would encourage all of you to review the document "Some Guidelines on the Formation of Major Seminarians" issued by the HoI, See. Along with the Holy See s concern for the proper formation of priests. is its concern for Religious. As you know the up-coming ninth Synod of Bishops, scheduled for the latter part of 1994, will have as its theme "Consecrated Life and its ~ole in the Church and in the World" . You are encouraged, in preparation for this Synod to study once again the document "Mutuae Relationes" and to recognize the need for a greater implementation of its teachings. Formative and educational initiatives concerning Religious are needed.
I have already congratulated you in the Pro-life campaign of the Conference. The Holy See encourages you to continue in your work for the Family and to work for a deeper understanding of the doctrine of family life. This can be done by a greater emphasis on a catechesis which will stress the spirituality of marriage and the family. Emphasis can be placed on safeguarding life from conception to natural death. Here too considered action can be taken concerning the questions of drugs, prostitution, pornography, Aids. Since 1994 has been declared by the United Nations the ''year of the Family" , it would seem appropriate to consider special programs at this time.
Finally, I would call to your attention the vast area of social communications and the whole question of morality in the media. The arrival of television, films and, most recently, videocassetes into almost every home has opened up a whole new area of concern for the Church. The Holy See encourages you to promote Christian doctrine through the mass media and to work against the negative influences which so easily come to our people, especially the youth, through the mass media. Your efforts, for example, in promoting the coverage by local television networks of Papal ceremonies and messages at Christmas and Easter help greatly in this respect.
I conclude these remarks by thanking you again, dear brothers, for your invitation and attention. I assure you all of my prayers for you and I wish you every success in your deliberations. May God bless you all.
"Church is a Companion of the Progress of Science"
On April 4, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea issued a joint message entitled, 'Towards the Evangelization of
Science and Technology ", calling for a generous participation in the second collection on Kaster Sunday on behalf of the Vatican Pavilion in Taejon Expo 93. The Secretariat of CBCK prepared and distributed
Towards the Evangelization of Science and Technology
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Holy See, welcoming the invitation of the Korean Government to participate in. the Taejon International E~ition
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is in this spirit of sacrifice we call on you to cooperate in the special collection for the Vatican Pavilion. We pray to God to grant abundant blessings to all of you and your families.
April 4, 1993
OUTLINE OF THE TAEJON INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION' 93 AND PLAN OF THE VATICAN PAVILION
I . Theme of the Thejon Expo , 93:The Challenge of a New Road to Development
Subthemes: Traditional and Modern Science and Technology for the Developing World Towards an Improved Use and Recycling of Resources
Duration: Aug. 7, 1993 - Nov. 7, 1993
II. Theme and Plan ofThe Vatican Pavilion (18m x 18m)
1. Theme: Lumen Gentium
2. Emblem of The Vatican Pavilion
The Emblem of the Vatican Pavilion shaped by Human Eye with the Earth in its apple and the Mobious' Strip symbolizes that Science and Faith are Companions who lead Humanity to the True Light.
3. Basic Concept
• News From the Church in Korea
• Catholics in Korea Exceed Three Million and Clergy Two Thousand
• Korean Translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is Expected to be Published This Year
The Catechetical Pastoral Institute (Director: Rev. Lee Sang-hoon) has completed the translation of the New Catechism and presented the first draft to the Catechetical Committee of CBCK at the Spring Plenary Session ofthe Bishops' Conference.
• Merging of Migration PastoraI Ministries for Korean Catholics in the U. S. and Canada
• Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Celebrate 70th Anniversary of Mission in Korea
On May 14, the occasion of the 70th anniversary of their mission in Korea, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers (Reg. Sup.: Rev. Gerard E. Hammond M.M.) celebrated the Eucharist at Reunification Tower on Odu Mountain, near DMZ. Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers' Foreign Mission Society of America, founded in 1911 by Revs. Thomas Price and James Walsh, first came to Korea on May 10, 1923, at the request of the Holy See for Pyongyang Province mission. With the establishment of the Praefectura Apostolica of Pyongyang in 1927, the Maryknoll Fathers played an important role in promoting the Korean Catholic Church. They contributed to the society in many ways by developing catholic press and publications and founding periodic such as "Catholic Study" and "Catholic Choson" . In 1942, during World War II, 32 Maryknoll Fathers were deported to the U.S. by the Japanese government but returned to Korea with the defeat of Japan. Since then their involvement in Korea has given an impetus to the development of the Catholic Church and played an important role in the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and the Holy See. During the Korean War a number of Maryknoll Fathers were kidnapped by North koreans and died on the "Death March". Most Rev. Patrick Byrne who was the first Maryknoll missionary in Korea was one of these victims. Presently Most Rev. William 1. McNauthton is Bishop of Incho' on diocese and 31 Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers including 3 lay Maryknoll assoCiates are involved in parishes and social services such as the Sacred Heart School for Blind People in Ch' ungju, the Leprosy Hospital in Sorak Island.
• Can Sex Education Be a Response to Anti-life Culture?
The Catholic Medical Center (CM.C.), adopting 1993 as the "Year of Protection for Human Life and Love", has launched a Pro-Life Campaign. Plans for the campaign include: assisting those having a third child and a campaign against anti-life research and studies destroying the dignity of human life such as test-tube insemination, termination of pregnancy, abortion and mercy killing. CMC will offer the same benefits to parents having a third child as those offered by the health insurance system for two children. This is expected to make considerable impact on the present regulation in the Korean health insurance system that excludes all medical benefits for a third child.
• Plan for A Joint Rehabilitation Center for Blind People in China
Catholic Blind Missions of Korea (CB.M.K.) will open "Yonbyon Hasang Rehabilitation Center for Eyesight Defective People" in Killim Provence in China August 1993. This will be a joint rehabilitation center in cooperation with China in a self-governing Province of Koreans in China. The Center will introduce effective projects and programs including braille education system, massage, acupuncture and computer education.
Catholic Women in Korea have been dispersed for many years in various fields of Church work as they practiced the belief that "Faith comes through works" (James 2:17). Now they have come to realize their own needs as women. Women who have been reflecting on women' s role in the Bible and in history, founded Korean Catholic Women's Community, for a New World Apr. 17, 1993, at the Catholic Women Students' Center (AF.I.) in Seoul.
As the 'Comfort Women's problem is becoming a heated issue between Korea and Japan, Msgr. Shirayanagi Seiichi, Archbishop of Tokyo, in a message on March 20, reaffirmed the position of the Episcopal Conference of Japan vis-a-vis the World War IT and its consequences. He reiterated the position of the Japanese Bishops' statement made in 1986 on the occasion of a meeting of Asian bishops recognizing the responsibility of Japan for World War IT and asked for forgiveness for War crimes against the Asian people. He called on the catholics of Japan for understanding of the sufferings of victims of Comfort Women, drafted forcibly for military sexual slavery by Japan and for recognition of the responsibility of Japan. He stated that "the problem of 'Comfort Women' is a problem for the Japanese people as well as for the Catholic Church in Japan and urged the Japanese government to recognize the historical facts and to offer apologies and due reparation to the victims. He called in particular for spiritual and financial support for those former comfort women who started legal proceedings in Japanese courts.
The Sisters of the Korean Martyrs sent two sisters, Sr. Ha Thomas and Sr. Yoo Agnes, on mission to Russia on Apr. 16. "It is indeed a difficult mission but we are going with faith in God and the courage of our ancestors and the first missionaries who came to our country" , the two young missionary Sisters said with a big smile at their departure. The Sisters of the Korean Martyrs have missions in Japan, Mexico, Germany, U.S. and Spain. Also the Franciscan Friars (Minis. Provincial: Rev. Xavier Yoon, O.EM.) announced that they are getting ready to send missionaries to Russia.
For foreign workers, most of whom are illegally in Korea, the Foreign Workers' Labor Counselling Office (Exec. dir.: Ms. Lydia Paik) recently sponsored a cultural tour of the National Museum to promote cultural understanding and friendship. About 80 foreign workers from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh visited the National Museum under the guidance of the staff of the Office on March 14.
A Brief History of Catholicism in Korea 
by Cho, Kwang, Ph.D.
1. Context ofAcceptance of Catholicism
In 1784, Catholicism was introduced to Korea. The reason for its spontaneous acceptance without the assistance of foreign missionaries was a consequence of the social changes at that time. For Korea, the 18th century was a transition period leading to a new era with significant innovations and reforms in socioeconomic thought. Commerce, manifacture and mining had been developed in the country which, up till then, had been an agricultural society in which the traditional class system was beginning to collapse due to the challenge of the common people.
2. Social Characteristics of the Believers
The Catholic faith introduced the Korean people to monotheism for the first time. People who believed in the highest being from ancient times could easily come to'believe in a trinitarian God. Koreans had a deep faith in a Creator who made the world and governed it but had no concept of a Mediator. So they felt closer to God the Father than to God the Son at the beginning. They were deeply touched by an understanding that all human beings were created in the image of God and therefore are equal and precious. From such an understanding of God they came to a new outlook on humanity and society, pursuing the equ3lity of all human beings.