06/03/2009, 00.00
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Seoul, catechism via internet: since 2005 more that 4 thousand baptised

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
Father Lee Ki-jeong, project supervisor, defines it as “a successful experience” because it allows them to respond to the Faithfull’s needs using “methods offered by modernity”. Before being baptised the catechumens are interviewed by the priest of their local parish.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Over 4100 newly baptised in 4 years.  That is the result of a catechism campaign launched by the Archdiocese of Seoul, and standing by what the organisers have to say it has been a “successful experience”.

Launched in 2005 on the direct request of Msgr. Yeom Su-jeong, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Seoul, the on-line catechesis has permitted thousands of citizens to follow baptism preparation courses.  The results of the campaign were presented by project supervisor father Lee Ki-jeong, in an email sent to parishes and communities.

“Nowadays – explains Fr. Lee – there are many people who want to convert to Catholicism, but cannot frequent catechism course on a fixed day or time”.  If work or family commitments stop them from attending courses then, the Korean church will respond to their needs using “the methods of modernity”.

The on-line program has the same validity of a parish course.  The catechumens follow lesions via internet and on completion of their formation; they are interviewed by the priest in their local parish to show that they have “the requisites to receive baptism”.  “This method – concludes the priest – is something new that is well adapted to modern life and has been applied with great success in every parish”.

There are an estimated 4.7 million Catholics in South Korea out of a total population of 48.5 million.  In Seoul, a city of over 10 million, there are circa 1,400,000 baptised; one thousand priests who care for 215 parishes.

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