Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Korean Church

"The witness of the laity in Korea has emerged powerfully from the Congress of lay Catholics in Asia, which ended yesterday," reports Bernardo Cervellera — Church of Korea, protagonist of the Congress of Catholic Laity. He notes that "managers, editors, employees have sacrificed their holidays to the Congress and to be of service to participants" and praises "the army of ladies, mothers, housewives or clerks, who with a dedication that is uniquely eastern offered lent themselves to whatever task was at hand."

Mr. Cervellera reminds us that Korean can boast of "a church that has grown by 66% in the last 30 years reaching about 6 million faithful (10% of the population)." More:
    This commitment draws from the cult of the martyrs, on which the Korean Church was founded. Over a period of 100 years, at least 10,000 Korean Catholics were killed for their faith. The devotion to them is such that the month of September is dedicated to the memory of all martyrs. An important issue that should be noted: among the Korean martyrs, there are also French missionaries. Without hesitation or inferiority complexes of colonialism or dependence, the Korean Catholics exalt the sacrifice of their compatriots and foreign missionaries who brought the faith to them. To confirm this unity of national and universal aspects (a sign of true Catholicism) there is another fact: the Korean liturgies include sacred music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and songs of local tradition: all have a place in their hearts.

    For the Korean Church, being a minority - as for all the Churches of Asia - is not something that discourages, rather it makes their communities similar to those of early Christianity: "Being a minority - said the Cardinal. Cheong - is a characteristic of the prophets "and must not lead to being" pessimistic or inactive".

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.