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."