07/07/2006, 00.00
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Seoul cardinal and priests to donate organs posthumously "for love"

They have urged all Koreans to follow their example. Their pledge is part of a pro-life project launched for the Eucharistic Congress. The Lay Apostolate Council immediately backed the plan.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, and all the priests of the archdiocese, have promised to donate their organs when they die. They have urged the Korean population to do the same. Their appeal came on the World Day for Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests (23 June) and it is one of the pro-life projects that the archdiocese is promoting for the diocesan Eucharistic Congress. The congress opened on 18 June and will be three months long, based on the theme: "Christ our life – Choose life". The Cardinal said: "Posthumous organ donation is a supreme expression of love and happiness since it is a sharing of life, the most precious gift we received from God. Through this sharing, both donors and receivers can be happy." 

Cardinal Cheong touched upon the difficult situations facing those who must wait for a long time for a transplant [in the east, organ donation is not a common practice]. "There are thousands of patients," said the cardinal, "who are waiting for an organ donation, but the number of donors is insufficient. Posthumous organ donation is a good way of practicing love without great burden." He added: "So I urge everybody, especially Catholics, to participate in this practice of love and to experience the happiness of sharing." 

The response of Thomas Han Hong-sun, president of the Lay Apostolate Council of Korea, was swift and positive: "The Council will soon propose some concrete ways so that lay Catholics can take part in the organ donation campaign, following the good examples of the priests."

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