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  • » 08/19/2013, 00.00


    For Daejeon bishop, the pope in Korea could lead to peace with North

    Joseph Yun Li-sun

    On his return from World Youth Day, Francis announced a trip to Asia for 2014. Speaking to AsiaNews, Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik said, "If he chose our country we would all be very happy. A visit by him to Korea would be a huge boost to missionary action, not only for the Korean Church but for all Asian Churches." South Korean authorities have already invited him. Even non-Catholics love him.

    Daejeon (AsiaNews) - A visit by Pope Francis in Korea "would bring two exceptional results: first, a boost to the missionary action of our Church and those of Asia; secondly, a boost to talks for the reunification of the peninsula," said Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik, bishop of Daejeon. He is just back from Brazil, where he took part in World Youth Day and a meeting with the bishops of the Focolare movement.

    "We were 51 bishops," he said," "23 from Brazil, the rest from all over the world. We spent ten intense days of meditation and talk on this year's topic 'Love each other', as well as on what the pope said in Rio de Janeiro. Above all, as bishops, we reflected on the relevance of the Church in today's world, a notion that annot be relegated to the background, especially at a time like this."

    Francis's example and message, Mgr You said, "are very important for Korea and Asia in general. One point that always surprises me a lot is his call to 'leave home', to go on the missio ad gentes. This is why I think that a visit to Korea would be a huge boost to missionary action, not only for the Korean Church but also for all Asian Churches. In any event, the Pope is impressive with people. He is a man who practices what he preaches, and this has very much impressed my country."

    South Korea "has already invited the Pope, both the Bishops 'Conference and the government. Francis thanked them for the invitation and explained that next year's timetable has not yet been set. I am confident though that he will come. Even though we are waiting for this October's consistory, the beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs is almost certain next year. It would be wonderful if he was here in person for the celebration, which is very important to Korean Catholics."

    Another fundamental issue the Pope could help with "is the relationship with North Korea. I am convinced that a man like him, with his way of doing things and the depth of his thought, could truly open relevant channels to arrive quickly to real peace and the reunification of the Korean peninsula."

    Such a visit would even make non-Catholics happy. "All Koreans view positively Pope Francis. Even national media cover his activities with real interest. Protestant denominations," which are particularly assertive in Asia, "seem to have changed their views. They consider him a great pastor, so much as that there are many conversions to Catholicism. I really hope he comes."

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    See also

    26/11/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Special trains, the way of the martyrs and youth centers: the fruits of the Pope's visit to Korea
    The bishop of the Diocese of Daejeon, where Francis attended the Asian Youth Day in August, handed the Pope a list of "small works" born spontaneously due to its trip. The national railway company has decided to donate the ticket price of the seat used by the pope to charity, while the state has declared the Solmoe Shrine a "National Treasure".

    30/06/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Card. Yeom: The Pope for peace in Korea and mission in Asia
    In an interview with AsiaNews, the archbishop of Seoul says that Francis is travelling to the peninsula “to encourage our church to be at the forefront of mission. This is a great responsibility given the many challenges facing our society". A separate chapter for reconciliation with the North, "We would hope for a great gesture of peace, even if it may be somewhat difficult. I would hope that the Pope will bless Kim Jong-un and the President Park, wishing them both a future of peace” .

    18/06/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Pope to embrace Korea's youth and martyrs
    The Vatican released the official schedule of Pope Francis' visit to the peninsula on 13-18 August. As planned, Francis will centre his apostolic visit to South Korea on young people in Asia and Joseon era martyrs. He will also meet with disabled people of the "House of Hope" and take part in an inter-faith meeting.

    19/06/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Korea, the Pope will meet relatives of the victims of the Sewol disaster
    On the second day of the visit in Korea, the pope will attend a Mass to celebrate Mary's rise into heaven on Assumption Day and deliver a homily at a soccer stadium in the central city of Daejeon. The Sewol ferry sank in April with the loss of some 300 lives, most of them schoolchildren.

    11/03/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Francis in Korea, five days for young people and for peace in Asia
    The program of the papal visit is not yet official, but several sources tell AsiaNews that in addition to the Asian Youth Day and the beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs, the Pope will visit a home for the disabled and homeless, the birthplace of St. Andrew Kim Taegon and the fortress where the first Korean Catholics were martyred. A planned visit to the "Cathedral of Reconciliation " in Paju, on the border with the North.

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