11/07/2005, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church now available in Korean

by Thomas Han
The book was presented at the tenth anniversary ceremony of Seoul's School of Social Doctrine.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – A Korean edition of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church has been published. The translation was presented at the Catholic Centre of the archdiocese of Seoul on November 5 in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, Mgr Emil P. Tscherrig, and different Korean prelates like Mgr Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju and Chairman of the Bishops' Conference of South Korea; Mgr Boniface Choi Ki-san, Bishop of Incheon and Chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission; and Mgr Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, who is in charge of the social pastoral in a Seoul. Many members of the laity were also present.

Card Renato Martino, Chairman of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which produced and published the original edition of the Compendium in 2004, sent a letter of best wishes.

Rev Remigio Lee, Thomas Kim and Thomas Han explained the content of the Compendium during the symposium for the tenth anniversary of the School of Social Doctrine of the Archdiocese of Seoul.

Mgr Tscherrig said the Compendium should be used to train the laity and promote the Christian image of man in Korean society, which is currently undergoing profound changes. Mgr Boniface Choi stressed that the Compendium provides directive and pastoral instruments, especially to bishops and those in charge of training. For his part, Mgr Lucas Kim encouraged the laity to practice the social doctrine in their daily life.

Mgr Andreas Choi Chang-mou, who played a crucial role in setting up the School of Social Doctrine, emphasised how current the social commitment of the Church is. He noted that in today's post-industrial and globalised society, based on information technology industries and internet, there are no longer any reserved and protected spaces. Still, evangelising social life remains an integral part of the mission of today's Church and of every lay believer. 

The School of Social Doctrine was founded in 1995, a year after a meeting in Seoul on the Laity's role in the Church's mission with special focus on implementing social commitments.

The School offers three levels of courses, each with ten two-hour weekly sessions every Monday evening.

The first level involves studying the social encyclicals and Gaudium et spes. The second level includes studying the main principles of Catholic social doctrine through the documents presented in the first level. The third level looks at the practical application of these principles in concrete fields.

Some 1,500 people, priests, religious men and women, and lay people have attended the courses.

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