12/01/2016, 14.23
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Card. Yeom to Asian Bishops: Preach the Gospel with dedication

by Santosh Digal

The Archbishop of Seoul speaks at the Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences. This year's theme is the family and its challenges. Open the doors of the Church, the sacraments and affection; reflect on children, youth and seniors; the consequences of the weakening of family relationships.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - To preach the "Gospel with respect, dedication, perseverance and humility” this is the call made by card. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul (South Korea), to the Asian bishops, meeting in Negombo for the Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC). He asked the 140 delegates from across Asia, representatives of the Catholic Church on the continent, to "proclaim the Gospel to others with generous openness."

Sri Lanka is hosting the 11th FABC Conference. This year's theme is "The Asian Catholic family: The local Church of the poor in the mission of mercy". Among the most significant moments is the today's meeting between Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu leaders to discuss the current challenges for the family and relationships within marriage.

Card. Yeom echoed Pope Francis’ call to maintain " the real door of mercy open, which is the Heart of Christ", launched during the closing ceremony of the Jubilee. “We need to open church doors, the doors of the sacraments, and the doors of affection should always be open to anyone at any time, especially the openness to the most vulnerable members of the society: the infants, the young people, the elderly who are increasingly isolated and abandoned, the poor, the homeless, the addicted, and the indigenous," the cardinal said.

The archbishop of Seoul explained that in order to fulfill the missionary work of openness, it is necessary that church in Asia pay attention to Jesus' order: "Give them some food yourselves" which is quoted by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium. Also, "we can change the phrase "some food" to "the things they need" and make this our mission slogan: "Give them the things they need yourselves," he added.

"In addition, I would like to stress on the openness to the infants, the young people, and the elderly; reflecting on the theme of our assembly, "Domestic Church of the Poor on a Mission of Mercy", we need to open a pastoral space for them to provide them with the things they need. Like it is said in Evangelii Gaudium, family is the fundamental cell of society and Church; the family is experiencing profound cultural crisis such as the weakening of bonds, male chauvinism, domestic violence, low participation of the Holy Mass, and superstitions, the cardinal stressed.

The consequence of the crisis is that, even in Catholic families, babies lose their lives due to abortion; young people lose their hope for the future because they do not receive proper religious education; the elderly are isolated and abandoned.

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”