Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The economic crisis of recent years has exacerbated "the dangers involved in rapid economic growth which can all too easily bypass ethical considerations, with the result that the poorer elements in society tend to be excluded from their rightful share of the nation’s prosperity". The need to combine ethics and economics, a task which the Church in its "public role" continues to recommend, was emphasized today by Benedict XVI in his address to the new ambassador of South Korea, Thomas Hong-Soon Han, received for the presentation of his credentials. The new ambassador is a long time member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the main organizer of the Congress on lay mission held in Seoul last September. He has frequently collaborated with AsiaNews.
As mentioned in Caritas in Veritate, the Pope pointed out how the crisis is also an opportunity to "focus attention on the need to renew the ethical foundation of all economic and political activities." In this regard, he encouraged the Korean government in its efforts to "commitment to ensure that social justice and care for the common good grow side by side with material prosperity” ensuring the Catholic Church’s willingness to work with the Government as it seeks to promote these worthy goals.
The Church in Korea, however, as mentioned by the ambassador, is a Church "not by any foreign missionary but by Korean lay faithful. themselves and boasts of the martyrdom of more than ten thousand faithful who heroically offered their lives for the great cause of God in the 19ts century". A Church the diplomat said that is held in " high esteem by her people for the contribution she has made to the modernization and development of her country, always in fidelity to the Papal Magisterium".
It, in the words of Benedict XVI, " Church helps to nurture and promote the values of solidarity and fraternity that are essential for the common good of any human community." For this reason, the Church " has a public role over and above her charitable and educational activities” (Caritas in Veritate, 11). It is a role that involves proclaiming the truths of the Gospel, which continually challenge us to look beyond the narrow pragmatism and partisan interests that can so often condition political choices, and to recognize the obligations incumbent upon us in view of the dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God. This requires of us an unambiguous commitment to defend human life at every stage from conception to natural death, to promote stable family life in accordance with the norms of the natural law and to build peace and justice wherever there is conflict."