CBCK News


Communication on December 16, 2005

2009.08.27 10:41


* Catholic Schools Oppose the Revised Private School Law

As the private school reform bill passed by the National Assembly of Korea on December 9, 2005, the Catholic Church in Korea, along with other religions and private school operators, expressed resolute opposition to the revised private school law to the point of calling on President Roh Moo-hyun to veto the bill.

On December 14, Catholic educators and leaders held an ad-hoc meeting with the Most Rev. Augustine Cheong Myeng-cho, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, and issued a statement in a press conference in the name of the CBCK Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs (President: Most Rev. Vincent Ri Pyung-ho) and the Federation of Catholic Educational Foundations in Korea (President: Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon).

"The revised private school law fundamentally undermines the founding spirit of the private schools and threatens the autonomy of all private schools, religious or not," the statement said.

"The law was hastily passed by the National Assembly without positively reflecting the opinions of education world, especially those involved in the private school operation, and seriously infringes upon the right of a private school to compose its own board of directors," it said. Therefore, the Catholic educators called on the President to exercise his right of veto and declared they would file a constitutional complaint against the law.

Other religions also stepped into the controversy, expressing concerns that the revised law would infringe upon the independence of private schools. Over 70 percent of the nation's private schools are run by religious organizations, including the Catholic Church.

* Notification on the Communion of Non-Catholic Christians

The Permanent Council of the CBCK approved the notification on the communion of non-Catholic Christians to convey the correct teaching of the Catholic Church and to avoid the abuse and confusion among the faithful regarding intercommunion.

The notification, presented by the Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, President of the Committee for the Doctrine of the Faith, reaffirmed that the members of Eastern Churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church can licitly receive the communion "if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed"(can. 844 §3).

Regarding other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, the notification recalled the canon law that Catholic ministers can licitly give the sacrament of Eucharist to them "who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed," under the conditions that "if the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it"(can. 844 §4).

Citing Ecclesia de Eucharistia, the Encyclical of Pope John Paul II on the Eucharist, the notification warned that "Catholics may not receive communion in those communities which lack a valid sacrament of Orders" (n.46).

However, as the Eastern Churches have the same faith in the sacrament of Eucharist and have a valid sacrament of Orders, Catholics can participate in their Eucharist and receive communion from the ministers if there is no Catholic church or priest, it explained.


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