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» 07/17/2012 16:34
SOUTH KOREA
Frenzy and overconsumption must be stopped, S Korean bishops say
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Speaking on Farmers' Day, Mgr Ri, president of Peace and Justice Commission, called on believers to take care of the world "God created". Overconsumption and waste of natural resources must stop. The US-South Korean Free Trade "pact must be revised" because as it stands it "could create new social imbalances in our country" and harm the weak.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - "God created the world on the basis of justice. The creator gave each one of us according to our needs. Human frenzy leads to overconsumption." For this reason, "We must go back to God's justice in farming," said Mgr Matthew Ri Iong-hoon in a message to Catholic farmers on Farmers' Day (15 July).

For the bishop of Suwon, who is also president of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Korean Bishops' Conference, "God created the world on the basis of justice and equity, to guarantee sufficient resources to all." However, "We have used them up. Hence, we have famine, energy crises and an urban-rural divide, which are against God's will and must be corrected."

In his message titled 'My father is the vine grower,' the bishop attacked the controversial US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement that came into effect in March after it was signed two years.

"The pact must be revised for the good of the weak since it threatens access to natural resources and could create new social imbalances in our country."

The free trade agreement has elicited major protests. Under its terms, South Korean growers and pig farmers are required to sell their product to the government first at a fixed price for sale in the United States.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets against this clause, which would place parts of farm sector under de facto government control, but failed to have it changed.

For the prelate, Catholics must be conscious of the importance of rehabilitating rural areas. "We must build a community based on solidarity like the earliest Christian communities. This campaign helps build true communion between rural and urban communities, sharing basic goods and Christ's values."


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See also
01/19/2007 SOUTH KOREA
Lawmakers on hunger strike to protect farmers’ jobs
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
01/05/2009 SOUTH KOREA
Seoul, opposition opens dialogue and unblocks part of parliament
02/06/2007 SOUTH KOREA
MPs against free trade pact with US
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
05/07/2007 SOUTH KOREA
Seoul wants to be the “hub linking Europe, Asia and the United States”
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
06/11/2008 SOUTH KOREA
Seoul: 400 thousand people commemorate the ’87 repression, contesting the government

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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