THE SYNOD IN PICTURES
POPE WELCOMES PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA
Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, and with H.E. Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. (AP photos)
During the cordial discussions, the parties evoked the good bilateral relations and the positive contribution offered by the Church in the social, education and healthcare sectors, as well as the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation between Koreans.
Strong appreciation was expressed for the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean Peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development. Finally, some matters of a regional nature were discussed.
FROM AP: South Korea’s president has met with Pope Francis in a private audience, and his office says that the pontiff indicated his willingness to visit North Korea.
The South Korean presidential office said in a statement that President Moon Jae-in “conveyed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s desire for a papal visit to North Korea”.
A formal invitation directly from North Korea will follow.
The office said Francis said that, “if the invitation comes, I will surely respond to it, and I can possibly go”.
Mr Kim initially indicated his desire for a papal visit during a Korean summit last month.
If it materialises, such a visit would be the first by a pope to North Korea.
CARDINAL PAROLIN CELEBRATES MASS FOR PEACE ON KOREAN PENINSULA
By Robin Gomes (vaticannews)
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin celebrated Mass Wednesday evening in St. Peter’s Basilica and prayed for peace in the Korean peninsula, saying that peace without crosses and tribulations is not the peace of Jesus.
Present at the Mass were visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in (a Catholic), his wife, a large group of Korean faithful, a hundred priests and missionaries, some bishops and many representatives of the Holy See’s diplomatic corps.
The Holy See Press Office had announced that Cardinal Parolin would celebrate the Mass on the eve of a meeting between Moon and Pope Francis.
In his homily, Cardinal Parolin said that they were praying for peace in the world, especially in the Korean Peninsula, so that “after so many years of tension and division, the word peace may finally fully resound.”
Peace – God’s gift amidst tribulations
The secretary of State said that, “peace is built by daily choices, by a serious commitment to the service of justice and solidarity, by the promotion of the rights and dignity of the human person, and especially by caring for the weakest”. “But, for the one who believes, peace, first of all, is a gift that comes from above, from God Himself.”
The cardinal pointed out that peace is something lived concretely in daily life, as Pope Francis often repeats, “a peace in the midst of tribulations”. This is why the peace promised by Jesus is not the as the world gives but as He gives.
Citing Pope Francis again, who said that the world often “anaesthetizes us so that we do not see another reality of life, which is the cross,” the Vatican Secretary of State said that the peace that God offers us goes beyond merely earthly expectations. “It is not the fruit of a simple compromise, but a new reality, which involves all the dimensions of life, even the mysterious ones of the cross and the inevitable sufferings of our earthly pilgrimage. For this reason, he said, Christian faith teaches us that, “a peace without the cross is not the peace of Jesus”.
Educating to love and build peace
Cardinal Parolin also recalled St. Pope Paul VI, who in his message for the Church’s first “World Day of Peace” in 1968, cited St. John XXIII saying, “We must always speak of peace. The world must be educated to love peace, to build it up and defend it.” “Against the resurgent preludes to war […]we must arouse in the men of our time and of future generations the sense and love of peace founded upon truth, justice, freedom and love.”
The Vatican secretary of State urged all to implore God for the grace to make peace an authentic mission in today’s world, trusting in the mysterious power of Christ’s cross and resurrection.
“With God’s grace,” he said, “the path of forgiveness becomes possible, the choice of fraternity among peoples becomes a concrete fact, peace becomes a shared horizon even in the diversity of those who make up the international community.”
LOOKING BACK: HOLY SEE NUNCIO TO KOREA, THE TRUMP VISIT, THE CHURCH IN KOREA
NUNCIO IN KOREA: SINGAPORE SUMMIT IS TRULY HISTORIC
The Apostolic Nuncio to Korea Archbishop Alfred Xuereb comments on the outcome of the summit.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Korea and Mongolia, Archbishop Alfred Xuereb hailed Tuesday’s “truly historic” summit between the US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He said the Church is “full of hope and confidence” but warned, “we’re still at the beginning of a long process.”
Long and arduous road
Speaking from Seoul in an interview with Vatican News, Archbishop Xuereb said that the Korean people and the local Church had been anxiously awaiting “these truly historic events.” He described the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “marking an important page at the beginning of a long and arduous road” (towards peace).
At the same time, said Archbishop Xuereb, “we are hopeful because this beginning was very positive, very good” and we’ve moved from rhetoric and words like “fire and fury” and “the complete devastation of North Korea” to more conciliatory words that speak about peace.
Novena for peace
Saying the Church in Korea is living these events “with great faith,” the Nuncio described how the Catholic Cathedral in Seoul has been holding special prayers for peace and reconciliation every Tuesday. He also said the Catholic Bishops of Korea have proposed a novena from the 17th to the 25th of June to pray for peace, reconciliation and unity on the Korean peninsula.
In the wake of this historic summit and the more conciliatory climate engendered by it, Archbishop Xuereb said the Church prays for the evangelization of North Korea.
“The Holy See wishes to offer its support to any initiative in favour of dialogue and reconciliation and also take advantage of this to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to North Korea,” he said. (https://joansrome.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/nuncio-in-korea-singapore-summit-is-truly-historic-church-in-korea-launches-novena-for-peace-on-korean-peninsula/)
CHURCH IN KOREA LAUNCHES NOVENA FOR PEACE ON KOREAN PENINSULA
The Catholic Church in Korea has proposed a novena for peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula as a series of summits and declarations mark the way for new diplomatic relationships between the two Koreas and with the United States.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews June 12, 2018))
The Catholic Church in Korea has proposed a novena from 17 to 25 June to pray for peace, reconciliation and unity on the Korean peninsula.
As leaders of the United States and North Korea held an historic Summit in Singapore on June 12, the Korean Church called for a novena of prayer and organized a conference for reconciliation and unity between the two Koreas who technically are still at war since the Korean Armistice Agreement signed in 1953.
After the Singapore Summit, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a “comprehensive” document, promising a new relationship between the nations and committing North Korea to work towards “the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
Just over a month ago the leaders of North and South Korea, Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un signed an agreement in which they agreed to pursue talks on a peace treaty as well as denuclearization.
In the 27 April Panmunjom Agreement, the two leaders committed to bring a swift end to the Cold War relic of longstanding division and confrontation, to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, and to improve and cultivate inter-Korean relations in a more active manner.
The Catholic Bishops of Korea have indicated a different prayer intention for each day: For healing following the separation of the Korean people; for families who have been separated by the Korean war; for the brothers and sisters who live in the North; for refugees from the North who currently live in the South; for politicians of the North and the South; for the evangelization of the North; for the promotion of exchange and dialogue between South and North; for true reconciliation between the two nations; for the peaceful reunification of the peninsula.
A Conference on the future of the Korean peninsula
The Bishops are also promoting a Conference on 21 June to take place at the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Daegu. Dedicated to a new future of the Korean peninsula thanks to fruitful exchanges between South and North, the event foresees the participation of the Bishops of Uijeongbu and Daegu as well as a panel of experts.