Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Mgr Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Seoul's new archbishop, visited the Museo Missionario di Propaganda Fide, located in a narrow street near the Spanish Steps. The prelate is in Rome where he received the pallium from Benedict XVI last Friday. In the museum, he inaugurated the Korean version of the audio self-guide system. He was accompanied by South Korean Ambassador to the Holy See Thomas Han Hong-soon, who sponsored the translation of the audio self-guide into Korean.
The Museum, which opened a few years ago, holds some Western works of art (paintings and sculptures) as well as works from countries of mission and precious documents about world evangelisation. "I am happy to have seen this place where the Church's mission in the Far East began," the newly appointed archbishop told AsiaNews after his visit.
Propaganda Fide was set up in 1622 to promote evangelisation in the new lands found in the west as well as in the Indies. It was designed to free them from the patronage (padraodo in Portuguese) of colonial powers.
"With the new self-guide system, Korean Catholics [visiting Rome] will be able to learn more about the mission's duties and vision," Mgr Yeom said.
Noting that Korean "is the first non-Western language" available in the museum, Ambassador Han said he hoped that Korean pilgrims would be inspired by the fourth meaning of the faith, which is "not only to serve the Church's development, but also to build a better world for faith constitutes an essential part of a more humane world."
The Korean Church has one of the largest contingents of missionaries in Asia. Its priests operate in many other Asian nations but also outside of Asia.
One of the closest missions is the one to North Korea. When he met the pontiff during the pallium ceremony, Mgr Yeom asked for "prayers for North Korea".
In addition to being the new archbishop of Seoul, he serves as apostolic administrator of Pyongyang.