05/01/2018, 13.46
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Msgr. You calls for 'Open Hearts’ to foster peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula

The Catholic Church must "pray continuously, live mutual forgiveness, reconciliation, brotherhood". South Koreans moved to hear the two Korean leaders speak of denuclearization. After seeing the historic meeting on live TV, the South Korean people see Kim Jong-un as a "normal person".

Daejeon (AsiaNews) - "The Catholic Church, we Christians, must continually pray, live mutual forgiveness, reconciliation, brotherhood - and therefore be ready to help our brothers and sisters in North Korea also financially. First of all, an opening of the heart is needed. Opening the heart, we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit who shows us the way," says Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, bishop of Daejeon, commenting on the "new era" that began on 27 April with the Panmunjom Declaration. And, talking to more than 100 priests yesterday, he told them: "Now it's our turn".

For the prelate, the summit was a source of great emotion: "I was crying and I was moved. It was really a miracle, a new era. I trusted in this meeting, I saw the hope for the future of Korea and humanity, but I did not expect so much ".

Although "symbolic", the meeting between the two leaders on the border between the two Koreas assumes an important significance for the history that preceded the summit: "It is a reality that has lasted for 65 years, that border has witnessed so many stories - yet it was so simple for both of them to cross it! "


"There are 65 years of open wounds: separated families, weapons, missiles and rifles - continues Msgr. You. “I also did the military service, still obligatory for all young Koreans, for three years in the 1970s in a military base near the border. Many were hoping for this summit, but they did not expect what they saw: the two leaders who spoke in Korean, in the same way, of a Korean peninsula without nuclear weapons. All this is the work of dialogue and collaboration. It is true politics: to continuously dialogue and find solutions in negotiation and in mutual understanding ". He adds: "The Korean people, observing Kim Jong-un on live South Korean TV, found that even the leader of the North is a normal person. He went towards Moon, greeted him, spoke Korean - sincerely and clearly".

"Peace in the Korean peninsula depends not only on Koreans, but also on Americans, Chinese, Japanese and Russians," says the bishop. And he concludes: "If we think of weapons, of how many new ones are built and then instead of the Korean peninsula that is demilitarized, what change this could mean for the whole world! Making less weapons would already be a great thing. The demilitarized zone (DMZ), ironically, the most intensely militarized area in the world, perhaps even in the entire history of humanity, will become the symbolic place of peace and reconciliation. Who could have said that a year ago, or rather just a few months ago? I see, with the feeling of profound gratitude, the miraculous realization of the word of God in our land: [The Lord] will be an arbiter among many peoples and will pronounce judgment among numerous nations; from their swords they will make plowshares, from their blades, scythes. No nation will raise the sword against another nation and will no longer learn the art of war. Each one will sit quietly under the vine and under the fig tree and no one will frighten them (Micah 4,3-4). I would like to thank all those who prayed for peace on the Korean peninsula. Also we Korean faithful pray for the peace of the other parts of the world - above all for those who are living through war. Let's go forward together, taking each other's hands. Praise the name of the King of Peace among all peoples."

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