04/19/2007, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Let us pray for the Virginia Tech victims, says Cardinal Cheong

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
The archbishop of Seoul celebrates a memorial mass for the 32 men and women killed by Cho Seung-hui. Messages of sympathy come from Korea’s Protestant and Buddhist communities.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Card Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, archbishop of Seoul, in a letter to Mgr Francis X. DiLorenzo, bishop of Richmond (Virginia), said that he and South Korea’s Catholic community are united in “praying for the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre and their families, [hoping] that they may overcome this sorrow in the certain knowledge that the deceased will live in eternal life.” The Virginia Tech campus is located in the Richmond diocese.

In memory of the 32 men and women killed by the 23-year-old South Korean-born Cho Seung-hui, Cardinal Cheong held a special service for the dead and injured in Seoul’s Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral. A memorial altar was also set up.

Christian Council of Korea Chairman Lee Yong-kyu expressed hope that the tragedy would not hurt the friendly relations between Koreans and Americans. The Director of the National Council of Churches in Korea Kwon Oh-sung prayed that the injured students may quickly recover and return to study in a message sent to the US National Council of Churches.

Rev Jigwan Sunim, executive director of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, said he mourned the victims sharing the grief of the bereaved families and the American people. He also said that he hoped that the life of the Korean community in the United States would get back to normal as soon as possible.

The day after the tragedy Benedict XVI sent a message in which he said he, too, shared in the sorrow felt by the victims’ families.

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