08/18/2014, 00.00
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President of the Korean bishops: Francis gave wake up call to Korea and Asia

The Bishop of Cheju, Msgr. Peter Kang U-il, tells AsiaNews: "Francis’ meeting with the young people was both a warm embrace and a wake up call. The pontiff invited our young people to never give up, even when faced with what seems like a dead end. And he has made it clear once and for all to our society that peace is born of justice, and that compassion for the marginalized must not result only in sterile charity".

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The Pope's visit to Korea "has sent a very clear and beautiful message to young people across Asia: wake up and be vigilant. Francis wanted to embrace and shake up our youth, to tell them to get up on their feet and never give up, even if their situation in seems like a hopeless dead end", says Mgr. Peter Kang U-il, Bishop of Cheju and President of the Korean Bishops' Conference, on the margins of the final press conference of Pope Francis' apostolic visit to South Korea.

The Pope, Msgr.Kang adds, "spoke even to those of us who are no longer young. He invited us to reflect with humility on ourselves, to aim to achieve higher values ​​than those in which we have lived until now. It is a warning not to allow the economic development of Korea become an idol, not to constantly give priority to the well-being as a balm for our society. He asked us to have and to express compassion for the poor, migrants, the marginalized and added that this compassion must be translated into concrete solidarity".

This message, the prelate said during the meeting with the press, "Was not just carried in his words, as beautiful as they were. He was a living witness of this and, despite his age, he walked the nation day all around long, from early morning to late evening. He wanted to meet all those who had an ardent desire to see him; he held their hands, listened to their complaints and offered them consolation. His encounter with disabled children was a magnificent example of this".

But the most important thing, he added Bishop. Kang, "is that solidarity towards the poor should not be understood as mere material aid or as charity sterile. The first thing we need to do for those who suffer, said Francis, is welcome them with love as brothers and sisters created in the image and likeness of God. We must help them, following the example of the Pope, to live a dignified life based on their own strength. The pontiff literally walked for five days to demonstrate his vision of the human being and the world. "

Francis, Msgr. Kang concluded, "also spoke to our society. He told us that peace is not the absence of war, but is the result of the application of justice in all areas. From this point of view, I believe that peace on the Korean peninsula must begin with us sharing a mindset based on brotherhood, we must recognize ourselves as brothers and sisters and God's creatures".(VFP)



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