11/03/2014, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Korean bishops open a 'Francis Fund' for the poor

by Pietro Kim Jaedeok
The bishops set up a fund for the poor and the marginalised. The outgoing president of the Bishops Conference, Mgr Kang, calls on his fellow prelates to "change our life too. We must remember the joy of the Gospel and always keep in mind the message the pope entrusted us during his pastoral visit."

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The Korean Church has decided to open a bank account, named after Pope Francis, for charity work and support for the poor and the marginalised.

The decision by the country's bishops came following their plenary meeting in which the new episcopate's national leaders were elected.

The account - also known as the 'Good Samaritan Fund' - will be up and running at the start of 2015.

The outgoing president of the Bishops' Conference, Jeju Bishop Mgr Peter Kang U-il, made the official announcement. At the end of the meeting, he explained the initiative.

"As bishops," he said, "we have decided to open this account in order to realise the 'joy of the Gospel'. However, to do so, we must learn to understand those who also ask us to change our life too."

In this sense, "It is important to understand that to get closer to our neighbours, to hear their voices, to show them solidarity, we have to leave behind the life of wealth," Mgr Kang said.

"We must remember Pope Francis's spirit in relation to the 'joy of the Gospel' and the message the pontiff entrusted us during his visit to Korea this summer. Let us thus start a new path for the Korean Church, with all the priests, religious and faithful."

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