07/30/2005, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Korean Church: a manual for proper devotion to Mary

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young

The book will be published on the initiative of the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Korean Bishops' Conference.  

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Korean Bishops' Conference (CBCK) has decided to publish a book entitled: "Correct devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary" to promote a properly correct Marian cult. The decision was reached following a meeting on 12 and 13 July at the CBCK headquarters.

The book is divided into five chapters: "The History of the Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary", "The Doctrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary", "Prayers and Feasts Manifesting the Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary", "Wrong Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary", and "Correct Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary".

With this, Church opposition to incidents of distorted devotion to Our Lady will be crystal-clear, and to cases like Teresa of Sanju, Julia of Naju and Our Lady of Bayside.
The most controversial question was that of Julia of Naju, who was presumed to be the first to have Marian apparitions and credited with miracles which emerged from the small city of Naju in 1985. The apparitions and miracles drew a consistent number of faithful, not only Koreans, especially because of the supposed transformation of the Eucharist into flesh and blood. Regarding mistaken Marian devotion to this so-called Julia of Naju, Mgr Andreas Choi Chang-mu, archbishop of Kwangju, and Mgr Yoon Kong-hi, bishop emeritus, demanded that all rituals and propaganda be stopped, despite the fact that they still have a following. The case of the Madonna of Bayside is similar; it is said she appeared in New York in 1974.

The book also aims to encourage the faithful to put into active practice traditional devotion to the Virgin.

The Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith intends to propose to the CBCK that inspectors of mass media work linked to the Church be appointed. The commission has also suggested that only priests who have the approval of the regional Ordinary will be given permission to feature on television, radio and in newspapers. This is according to the code of Canon law and according to regulations of the Korean Church.

The decision was taken following some instances of priests and religious who expressed opinions contrary to Catholic teaching in church and through the mass media, with the risk of leading the faithful astray.

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