» 05/21/2014, 00.00
Card. Yeom goes to the North: Only a pastoral visit, the Pope's trip has nothing to do with it
The Archbishop of Seoul is the first Korean Cardinal to cross the border that divides the peninsula. The trip will last less than 24 hours and will only take in the inter-Korean industrial complex of Kaesong. A source for AsiaNews : "No connection with Pope Francis’ visit. Hopefully the Pope will celebrate Mass in Pyongyang soon, but that does not depend on us. And his visit is already a big step forward towards peace".
Seoul ( AsiaNews) - The Archbishop of Seoul, Card. Andrew
Yeom Soo- jung, is in North Korea for a quick visit to the inter-Korean
industrial complex of Kaesong. The Cardinal left early this morning (local
time) and will return to Seoul by the evening: A press conference has been
scheduled for 7pm local time. The purpose of the visit is to meet with South
Korean workers who are employed in the area . However, Card. Yeom's "is
not in any way connected " with the visit of Pope Francis to the Korean
August 14 to 18 next.
Since the division of the peninsula - in 1953 - the
Archbishop of Seoul has held the position of Apostolic Administrator of
Pyongyang. The North's capital was once known as the " Jerusalem of Asia"
for the large number of Christians who lived there: before the seizure of power
by Kim Il-sung, Catholics numbered about 100 thousand; Protestants were almost
double that figure. After the purges of the Stalinist regime, the numbers dropped
to almost zero. Today it is impossible to estimate the number of believers of
any religion who live in the North: Some AsiaNews sources speak of
"about 200 maybe 2 thousand Catholics and Protestants", all forced totally
Card. Yeom's visit to North Korea was planned at first
for Christmas 2013: the prelate had expressed a desire to celebrate Christmas
Mass in Kaesong , but the political instability of the regime and the fall
of the "number 2" Jang Song- taek blocked the project. The
archbishop is "the first serving cardinal to visit the North". His
predecessors - the late Cardinal Stephen Kim and emeritus Nicholas Cheong -
both crossed the border, but before being created cardinal by the Holy See.
Spokesman for the South Korean Ministry for Unification, Park
Soo -jin said this morning that "there are no meetings of a political
nature during the visit" and stressed that the cardinal "has no plans
to visit Pyongyang". In addition, both the Archdiocese of Seoul and Park deny
that the Papal visit has anything to do with the trip. A Catholic source for AsiaNews
in the South says : "Francis is coming to Korea, but the possibility he
may visit the North , unfortunately, does has nothing to do with us. Hopefully
sooner or later, the pontiff will celebrate Mass in Pyongyang, but we have to
be realistic. His visit is already a huge step towards peace".
17/03/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
Korea, President Park thanks the Pope: Your visit is a great opportunity for us all
South Korean president Park Geun-hye receives members of the Preparatory Commission for the papal visit: "This year is filled with Catholic occasions! We are grateful to Francis for his creating archbishop Yeom a cardinal".
05/08/2014 NORTH KOREA - VATICAN
Pyongyang rejects invitation, no Catholics from North at papal Mass
The Association of North Korean Catholics sent a letter accusing the Seoul government: "You refuse to cancel the military exercises with the U.S., the visit is impossible". An official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference: "It means that they find the question difficult to manage."
04/05/2006 NORTH KOREA - SOUTH KOREA
Joint visit to pope proposed by Catholics from north to those in south
The proposal "does not have a clear objective". "To obtain such a privilege, you'll have to show there is religious freedom. They told me this would be difficult".
25/06/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
Reconciliation, hope and peace: Francis' "missionary challenges" in Korea
In his first visit to the Far East, the Pope will "show the path of hope and peace to a Korean peninsula still divided in two, and to the whole of Asia. The visit is a 'new beginning' for the local church and for his missionary work." AsiaNews talks to Fr Gerard Hammond, Maryknoll regional superior and expert on North Korea, and Fr Andrew Kim, superior general of the Missionary Society of Korea.
Church to celebrate the 1000th Mass for peace on Korean Peninsula
The function takes place every Tuesday from 7 March 1995. On the day of the Epiphany, nearly 20 years after the first celebration, the mass will be held in the cathedral Myeondong: the homily will be served by Gwangju Archbishop Andrew Choi Chang-moo, the first chairman of the Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People. Launch of the Movement for spiritual renewal, which makes catholics of the South "parishioners" of a church in the North.
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
20/01/2017 CHINA - UNITED STATES
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.