CBCK News


Message for Overseas Aid Sunday 2011

2011.01.20 17:29


Message for Overseas Aid Sunday 2011(Summary)



God took the man to cultivate the world and care for it.

(Cf. Gen 2,15)

- To cope with the phenomena of climate change, the main cause of hunger and natural disasters -



The Catholic Church in Korea has observed annually the last Sunday of January as the Overseas Aid Sunday since 1993 to share 'caritas'  with all the poor of the world.


Today the human progress is closely connected with the duties of human in his relationship to the natural environment. The natural environment is God's gift to us, so we should make good use of it, taking our responsibility for the poor, the future generation and all humanity. Especially the faithful should recognize in nature the wonderful fruits of God's creative activity, and use it responsibly to satisfy the legitimate needs of the human being(Cf. Caritas in Veritate, n. 48). God created nature prior to the man, and entrusted him the mission to cultivate and care for it(Cf. Gen 2,15) as our grounds of life. But the human being, neglecting this mission and exploiting nature as a means to satisfy his greeds, caused its unbalance, the climate change and frequent natural disasters, which have been aggravating death, pain and hunger in this world.


Recently the natural disasters have been occurring more frequently in larger scale and centering mainly around underdeveloped countries. The efforts of the UN aimed at 'eradicating extreme poverty and hunger', which was its first goal for new Millennium, has been also frustrated in most regions of the world due to the natural disasters, food and economic crisis, etc. This frustration makes the people living in those regions to abandon the fundamental rights which they should enjoy as being made in 'Imago Dei'.


Poverty has a close relation to natural environment. As underdevelopment and destruction of the environment are interlinked with each other, it is impossible for us to expect the authentic human development without solving ecological crisis. We needs to reflect sincerely on the structural contradiction in this world and our life style, so that we may reduce the environmental destruction and make the poor escape from poverty(Cf. Guide of the CBCK, Our Responsibilities and Practices for Restoring the Order of Creation, n. 36).

Jesus has the solidarity with the poor in the heart of charity and compassion. He calls constantly us to live a life for our neighbors not just for ourselves. The Spirit of Christianism is summarized in love, so we, as christians, can not avoid the responsibilities to share in the suffering and pain of the poor and the marginalized. Helping the poor to improve their life is the way of saving them, further the way of saving nature, and finally the way of saving all of us. Keeping this deeply in my mind, I pray that all of you may enjoy the happiness because of God who is 'Caritas'.


+ Francis Xavier Ahn Myeong-ok

Bishop of Masan


CBCK Committee for "Caritas Coreana"


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