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    » 01/22/2014, 00.00


    Fr Lombardi: pope considering trip to Korea

    Holy See Press Office director says Francis might visit the Korean Peninsula to attend Asian Youth Day in August in Daejeon.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis could make a visit to South Korea in 2014, Holy See Press Office director Fr Federico Lombardi told journalists this morning.

    The pope is considering a visit to the Korean Peninsula as part of Asian Youth Day, which will take place in August in the Diocese of Daejeon.

    On his way back from World Youth Day in Brazil, the bishop of Daejeon had told AsiaNews that the Bishops' Conference and the South Korean government were trying to get Francis to visit the Asian nation.

    According to Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik, a papal visit "would give new momentum to our missionary Church and the Churches of Asia, as well as help peace talks with North Korea."

    Mgr You himself renewed the invitation in a letter to the pope in which he presented Youth Day, an event that will bring together young Catholics from all over the continent.

    South Korea's Catholic Church and Catholic community strongly hope that the Pope will visit their country.

    This year, plans are underway for two events of great importance for the Church in South Korea and Asia. In addition to Asian Youth Day, a decree of beatification is expected for 124 "new" South Korean martyrs, and Francis himself might beatify them in person.

    On his way home from his trip to Brazil, the Pope had told reporters that he planned to visit Asia in 2014. "I have been invited to go to Sri Lanka and also to the Philippines. But I must go to Asia. Because Pope Benedict did not have time to go to Asia, and it is important. He went to Australia and then to Europe and America, but Asia . . ."

    In his recent New Year's Greetings to the diplomats accredited with the Holy See, the pope said, "On this, the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea, I wish to implore from God the gift of reconciliation on the peninsula, and I trust that, for the good of all the Korean people, the interested parties will tirelessly seek out points of agreement and possible solutions.

    Another sign of the pope's interest towards Korea is his decision to name Mgr Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul and apostolic administrator of Pyongyang, to the post of cardinal.

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    See also

    30/12/2014 SOUTH KOREA
    Daejeon: the "pope's seat" to fund a home for single mothers
    During his apostolic journey to South Korea, Francis chose to travel from Seoul to Daejeon on a high-speed train. His seat now bears a small plate indicating the event. A portion of the ticket price paid to use the seat now goes to the local diocese. Today the first payment was received for a total of US$ 13,500, which the bishop has allocated to young mothers in need.

    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.

    20/03/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    For Jeju bishop, the pope's visit will renew political dialogue and evangelisation in Korea
    "The pope is coming at a very important moment. The whole of society is waiting for him in order to respond to his call for peace with the North and among us," Mgr Peter Kang U-il, head of the Bishops' Conference of Korea, told AsiaNews. Francis "also brings reconciliation between Korea, Japan and China."

    16/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    Baptised by the pope, father of a Sewol victim chooses Francis as his name
    As expected, this morning Francis baptised Lee Ho-jin, a man who lost a son in the ferry sinking of 16 April. After the ceremony, the two talked briefly. Francis Lee says he is "grateful for the pope's love and closeness".

    18/08/2014 VATICAN
    For pope, in Iraq "It is lawful" to halt an "unjust aggressor", but the decision belongs to the UN
    During the flight that brought him back to Rome, Francis spoke of his "respect" for the Chinese people, reiterating the importance of the Letter by Pope Benedict XVI. "If I felt I could not go on, I would resign," he said. As preparations for the encyclical on safeguarding creation continue, the pope plans future trips, including one to Albania, which has "important reasons".

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