07/03/2014, 00.00
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A documentary on the Pope helps Koreans rediscover their faith, even those who had abandoned it

by Pietro Kim Jaedeok
The national television network, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, has sent a crew to Rome to prepare a two-hour documentary on the figure of the Pope and the places of the Korean Martyrs. During recording, the crew drew closer and closer to the Church: "When I got home - says one of the journalists - I wanted to go back to the parish that I abandoned years ago."

Rome (AsiaNews) - The making of a documentary to explain the Pope's visit in August to Koreans has helped a TV crew to rediscover their faith, infected by the enthusiasm of the Catholic world for Francis and the testimony of life encountered along the way. The crew was sent to Italy by MBC - Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, a national television network - to shoot footage of the pope.

For four months, the reporters and producers studied Pope Francis, the history of the Korean Catholic Church and the universal Church. With the help of the Bishops Conference and Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik (Bishop of Daejeon who is hosting the Asian Youth Day) they prepared the Italian stage of the documentary. And during the month June visited the sites of the Korean Martyrs where the Pope will also visit.

Han Hak Su, the chief producer of the documentary, told AsiaNews: "I am an atheist, because I still don't feel the existence of God in my heart, but something very strange is happening to me. I knew nothing about the Church in Korea, I did not know it had so many martyrs and that the Word of God had come to us thanks to the laity. This has pushed me to find out more".

On June 18, the group arrived in Rome and visited the basilica of St. Peter, the Roman catacombs and several other places linked to the Italian Church. Then they met with priests and lay people who work at the Vatican, bishops and prominent Church figures. During all these interviews and meetings, their hearts gradually opened to the Church.
Lee Jae Myun, a cameraman, said: "I ​​am a Protestant, but I left the church years ago. Now I realize that I learned a lot of  incorrect things about Catholics, and I have decided that if I ever should receive the gift of faith again, I will become a Catholics". One of the journalists said: "I am a Catholic, but I haven't gone to church for years. I've decided to go back to my church as soon as I get back to Korea, and the very first thing I want to do is go to confession".

The documentary will be divided into two parts. The first - entitled "Who is Pope Francis?" - Will last 60 minutes and will feature interviews with Italian and foreign laity, priests and bishops who spoke of their experience with the pope. The second part - "The sites of the Korean martyrs, where the Pope will go " - will tell the story of these great witnesses of faith. The first part will be broadcast on national TV on August 11, the second just before the great mass of the Pope with young Asians scheduled for  August 15.


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