2018 Spring General Assembly of the CBCK
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) held its 2018 Spring General 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 Concordia inter Codices, and of the provisions of Canon Law modified accordingly, which the CBCK Committee 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 published, in it all the provisions revised after the publication of the existing 1983 Code of Canon Law are incorporated.
2. The bishops deliberated on and approved new or revised drafts of the rules of the following CBCK National Committees: the Committee for Family & Life; the Pro-Life Activities (under the Committee for Family & Life); the Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People; the Committee for Bioethics; the Biblical Committee; the Committee for Ecology & Environment; the Committee for Commemoration of Martyrs & Pastoral Care of Pilgrimage; the Committee for Liturgy; the Committee for Justice & Peace; the Subcommittee for Labor Pastoral Care (under the Committee for Justice & Peace); the Subcommittee for Abolition of Capital Punishment (under the Committee for Justice & Peace); the Committee for Catholic Terminology.
3. 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 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 resurrection.
4. The bishops appointed presidents of some CBCK National Committees and assigned the member bishops of the CBCK Episcopal Commissions as follows (* newly elected):
- Episcopal Commission for Doctrine
Chairman: Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyeok-ju
Members: Most Rev. Basil Cho Kyu-man (President, Committee for Catechesis) *
Most Rev. Paul Hwang Chul-soo (President, Committee for Canonical Affairs)
Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong (President, Committee for Promoting Christian Unity & Interreligious Dialogue)
Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon (President, Committee for Bioethics)
Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo (President, Biblical Committee) *
Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyeok-ju (President, Committee for the Doctrine of the Faith) *
Most Rev. John Bosco Chang Shin-ho (President, Committee for Liturgy) *
Most Rev. Thaddeus CHO Hwan-kil *
- Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs
Chairman: Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik
Members: Most Rev. Pius Moon Chang-woo (President, Committee on Education) *
Most Rev. John Baptist Jung Shin-chul (President, Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Foreign Residents Living in Korea) *
Most Rev. Simon Ok Hyun-jin (President, Committee for Social Communications) *
Most Rev. Timothy Yu Gyoung Chon (President, Caritas Committee) *
Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il (President, Committee for Ecology & Environment)
Most Rev. Constantine BAE Ki Hyen (President, Committee for Justice & Peace) *
Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik *
Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe (Chairperson, Caritas Korea International)
- Episcopal Commission for Mission & Pastoral Care
Chairman: Most Rev. Peter Lee Ki-heon
Members: Most Rev. Linus Lee Seong Hyo (President, Committee for Family & Life)
Most Rev. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun (President, Committee for Culture & Art)
Most Rev. Peter Lee Ki-heon (President, Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People)
Most Rev. Joseph Son Sam-seok (President, Committee for Evangelization and Mission) *
Most Rev. John Kim Sontae (President, Committee for Commemoration of Martyrs & Pastoral Care of Pilgrimages)
Most Rev. Peter Chung Soon-Taick (President, Committee for Youth Ministry)
Most Rev. Benedictus Son Hee-Song (President, Committee for the Lay Apostolate) *
Most Rev. John Moon Hee Jong (President, Committee for Foreign Mission Work and Pastoral Care of Overseas Koreans)
Most Rev. Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il (Moderator in charge of Health Pastoral Care)
Most Rev. Job Koo Yobi (Moderator in Charge of Religious and Missionary Institutes)
5. 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”).
6. 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.
7. Regarding the recent case of sexual violence perpetuated by a priest, the bishops 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 established so that on an institutional level sexual 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 Committee, 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 systematical 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 priestly formation and the 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 designate a diocesan reception place for victims 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 punishments 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 diocesan bishops recommend renewal for priests on appropriate occasions: the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification 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.