Card Yeom co-celebrated Mass with Mgr Xuereb, nuncio to Korea and Mongolia. For the cardinal, denuclearisation is a necessary condition for peace, but the "journey" must continue. He would like to visit the faithful in the North. The nuncio mentions the Pope's love and support for the Korean people.
Seoul (AsiaNews) - Prayer is the most "effective weapon" of Christians for peace and the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, said Card Andrew Yeom Soon-jung, archbishop of Seoul, speaking to some 3,000 people attending a peace prayer held last Saturday at the auditorium of Dongsung high school in Seoul.
The event was organised by the Committee for National Reconciliation of the Archdiocese of Seoul on the occasion of the National Day of Prayer for National Reconciliation, established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea in 1965. It is held every year on the Sunday closest to 25 June, the day when civil war broke out 68 years ago.
Last Saturday’s Mass, which was a moment of collective prayer and a testimony on living conditions in North Korea, was co-celebrated by Card Andrew Yeom Soon-jung, archbishop of Seoul, Mgr Alfred Xuereb, nuncio to Korea and Mongolia, Mgr Marco Sprizzi, adviser at the nunciature, Fr Achilles Chung Se-Teok and a dozen other priests from the archdiocese of Seoul.
In his homily, Card Yeom stressed the importance of prayer for peace. For him, "Even if North Korea's denuclearisation and the easing of military tensions on the Korean Peninsula are realised, they cannot, by themselves alone, establish true peace in this land. It is nothing but one of the necessary conditions for establishing true peace.”
The "journey of peace building" that began with the summits between the two Koreas and the US must go on, overcoming national, political and personal interests so as "to promote the common good of all people of the South and the North so that they may live a more truly human life" and "contribute to the promotion of peace in Asia and the world".
"For this, we all need to, if necessary, in solidarity with all the people of good will of the whole world, watch over and assist the authorities directly responsible for peace-building not to let them go astray from the right direction, while positively doing what we can do individually in our daily lives. This is precisely the way each one of us must work for peace by disseminating the ‘Gospel of peace’ (Ep 6:15) to the neighbours according to our own circumstances.”
Finally, the archbishop of Seoul and apostolic administrator of Pyongyang reiterated his ardent desire to one day visit the faithful of the North, of which he is pastor.
“I supplicate,” he said, “and pray with all my heart that God accelerate the day when the religious freedom will be really ensured in the North so that I may meet the faithful there to offer to God prayers of thanks and praise together with them, propagating the good news of salvation to all.
At the end of the Mass, Mgr Xuereb gave a short speech – repeatedly interrupted by the applause of those present – mentioning the Pope's support and love for the Korean Church and people.
The nuncio then encouraged those present to recite the Ave Maria, "Queen of Korea" and peace, just as the pontiff did during the Angelus on 10 June.