Card. Cheong: "Pray that Eucharist may return to North Korea"

The cardinal invited Korean believers to follow the martyrs' example and to live a life based on Eucharistic values. He expressed regret about the northern side of the border, where believers cannot receive the great gift of communion.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – South Korean Catholics, "descendants of martyrs" should strive to be "true faithful based on the spirit of the Eucharist", who should "pray so that the gift of the Eucharist may reach our brothers in the north as soon as possible."

This was the thrust of a homily given by the Archbishop of Seoul, Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, during a solemn mass that rounded up the Eucharistic Congress in the Korean capital. The congress, called by the Cardinal, started on 18 June and was based on the theme, "Christ, our life".

The ceremony was held at the Catholic University of Seoul on 16 September, in the presence of more than 11,000 faithful, and was transmitted on radio and television. After the mass, the faithful came together for a Eucharistic procession through the city streets.

Cardinal Cheong said the closing mass "was taking place on the day marking the feast of a Korean martyr precisely because we, his descendents, should be ready to follow his example to witness to our faith with our blood."

He continued: "We must practice disinterested sacrifice, as well as love and sharing, which are the spirit of the Eucharist, the only hope in this turbid world."

During the homily, the bishop, who is also Pyongyang's apostolic administrator, said he felt "uneasy because our brothers beyond the border cannot even dare to dream of an event like this. We have to pray together so soon they may be able to receive the gift of the Eucharist."