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Volume 2, No. 25

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    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 2, Issue 25 THURSDAY 30 January, 2002 Today s Lectionary Readings http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/013102.htm Feast of St. John Bosco,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2002

      Volume 2, Issue 25
      THURSDAY 30 January, 2002

      Today's Lectionary Readings

      Feast of St. John Bosco, Founder of the Salesians


      * * *

      • General Audience Address on Psalm 18(19)
      • Papal Address to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
      • Press Assailed for Manipulating Pope´s Words on Divorce
      • Holy See Aide´s Address at U.N. on Racism
      • Argentina Prepares for Beatification of Two Argentineans
      • Pope to Stay Three Days in Mexico, says Cardinal Rivera
      • Church in Korea Helps in the Evangelization of Japan

      * * *

      General Audience Address on Psalm 18(19)

      Creation Is a Sacred Book of God´s Beauty, Pope Says

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 30, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Creation is an open
      book that speaks of God´s beauty, John Paul II said during
      today´s general audience when he meditated on Psalm 18(19).
      Here is a translation of his address, which he gave in Italian.

      1. The sun, with its increasing brilliance in the sky, the splendor
      of its light, and the beneficent warmth of its rays, has captivated
      humanity since the beginning. In many ways human beings have
      manifested their gratitude for this source of life and well-being,
      with an enthusiasm that often reaches the height of authentic
      poetry. The wonderful Psalm 18[19], the first part of which we
      have just proclaimed, is not only a prayer in the form of a hymn of
      extraordinary intensity; but is also a poetic song addressed to
      the sun and its shining on the face of the earth. In this way, the
      Psalmist joins a long list of singers of the ancient Near East,
      who exalted the day star that shines in the skies, which in their
      regions long dominates with its burning heat. It reminds us of
      the famous hymn to Aton, composed by Pharaoh Akhnaton in the
      14th century B.C., and dedicated to the solar disc regarded as a

      However, for the man of the Bible, there is a radical difference in
      regard to these solar hymns: The sun is not a god, but a creature
      at the service of the one God and Creator. Suffice it to remember
      the words of Genesis: "Then God said: ´Let there be lights in the
      dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the
      fixed times, the days and the years.´ ... God made the two great
      lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to
      govern the night. ... And God saw how good it was" (Genesis

      2. Before going over the verses of the Psalm chosen by the
      Liturgy, let us look at it as a whole. Psalm 18[19] is similar to a
      diptych. In the first part (verses 2-7), which today has become our
      prayer, we find a hymn to the Creator, whose mysterious
      grandeur is manifested in the sun and the moon. In the second
      part of the Psalm (verses 8-15), instead, we find a wise hymn to
      the Torah, namely, to the Law of God.

      Both parts are suffused with a common theme: God illuminates
      the universe with the brilliance of the sun and illuminates
      humanity with the splendor of his Word contained in biblical
      Revelation. It is almost like a double sun: The first is a cosmic
      epiphany of the Creator; the second is a historical and free
      manifestation of the Savior God. It is not accidental that the
      Torah, the divine Word, is described with "solar" tones: "The
      commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" (verse

      3. But let us go back now to the first part of the Psalm. It begins
      with a wonderful personification of the heavens, which to the
      sacred Author appear as eloquent witnesses of the creative work
      of God (verses 2-5). They, in fact, "narrate," "announce" the
      wonders of the divine work (see verse 2). The day and night are
      also represented as messengers that transmit the great news of
      creation. This is a silent testimony, which nevertheless makes
      itself forcefully heard as a voice throughout the cosmos.

      With the interior vision of the soul, with religious intuition not
      distracted by superficiality, man and woman can discover that
      the world is not dumb but speaks of the Creator. As the ancient
      sage said, "From the greatness and beauty of created things
      their original author, by analogy, is seen" (Wisdom 13:5). St. Paul
      also reminds the Romans that "Ever since the creation of the
      world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have
      been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made"
      (Romans 1:20).

      4. Then the hymn gives way to the sun. The luminous globe is
      depicted by the inspired poet as a heroic warrior who leaves the
      chamber where he spent the night, emerges from the heart of
      darkness and begins his inexhaustible course in the heavens
      (verses 6-7). It is like an athlete who never pauses or is
      exhausted, while the whole of our planet is enveloped in its
      irresistible warmth.

      Hence, the sun is compared to a spouse, a hero, a champion
      who, by divine order, must fulfill a task every day, a conquest, and
      a race in the sidereal spaces. The Psalmist thus points to the
      flaming sun in mid-sky, while all the earth is enveloped by its
      heat, the air is still, no angle of the horizon can escape from its

      5. The solar image of the Psalm is taken up by the Christian
      paschal liturgy to describe the triumphant exodus of Christ from
      the darkness of the sepulcher and his entry into the fullness of
      the new life of the resurrection. The Byzantine liturgy sings in the
      matins of Holy Saturday: "As the sun rises after the night totally
      radiant in its renewed luminosity, so you also, O Word, will shine
      in a new brightness when, after death, you will leave your nuptial
      bed." An ode (the first) of Easter matins links the cosmic
      revelation with Christ´s paschal event: "Let the heavens rejoice
      and the earth exult with it, because the whole universe, both the
      visible and invisible, takes part in this celebration: Christ, our
      everlasting joy, has risen." And another ode (the third) adds:
      "Today the whole universe, heaven, earth and abyss, is full of
      light and the whole of creation sings the resurrection of Christ,
      our strength and our joy." Finally, another ode (the fourth)
      concludes: "Christ our Pasch has risen from the tomb as a sun
      of justice shining on all of us the splendor of his charity."

      The Roman liturgy is not as explicit as the Eastern in comparing
      Christ to the sun. Nevertheless, it describes the cosmic
      repercussions of his Resurrection, when it begins its song of
      lauds on Easter morning with the famous hymn: "Aurora lucis
      rutilat, caelum resultat laudibus, mundus exultans iubilat,
      gemens infernus ululat" ("The dawn is radiant with light, the
      heavens exult with songs, the world dances with joy, hell moans
      with cries").

      6. The Christian interpretation of the Psalm, however, does not
      cancel its basic message, which is an invitation to discover the
      divine word present in creation. Of course, as stated in the
      second part of the Psalm, there is another and higher Word,
      more precious than light itself, that of biblical Revelation.

      Anyway, for those who have attentive ears and unveiled eyes,
      creation is like a first revelation, which has its own eloquent
      language: It is almost like another sacred book whose letters
      are represented by the multitude of creatures present in the
      universe. St. John Chrysostom says: "The silence of the heavens
      is a voice that resounds more intensely than a trumpet: This
      voice cries to our eyes, and not to our ears, the grandeur of the
      one who made it" (PG 49, 105). And St. Athanasius: "The
      firmament, through its magnificence, beauty and order, is a
      prestigious preacher of its author, whose eloquence fills the
      universe" (PG 27, 124).

      * * *

      Papal Address to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

      Stresses Centrality of the Eucharist in Life of Church

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 30, 2002 (Zenit.org).- On Jan. 18, John Paul
      II received the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
      the Faith on the occasion of its plenary assembly. Here is a
      translation of the Holy Father´s address which was in Italian.

      Your Eminences, Colleagues in the Episcopate and in the

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

      1. I am happy to welcome you at the end of the Plenary Session
      of your Congregation. In cordially greeting each one of you, in
      particular, I would like to thank your prefect, Cardinal Joseph
      Ratzinger, for expressing your sentiments of respect and

      The real goal of public debates in the Church must be the
      achievement of a unified voice for teaching

      I have listened to what the Cardinal has said about your work
      during these intense days of reflection. In this regard, allow me
      to offer you some of my own reflections and convictions about
      this meeting. The Church needs and lives on continuing fraternal
      debates, on their give and take, for it is the only way she can find
      more efficient and effective ways of collaboration among the
      offices of the Roman Curia, with the Episcopal Conferences and
      with the Superiors General of the Institutes of Consecrated Life
      and Societies of Apostolic Life. However, without an ability to
      work together, that a common love for the Church makes
      happen, the Church cannot be her true self: the community of
      those who are brought together by the closest of bonds, born of
      the communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

      To seek unity and collaboration and to be faithful to the
      convictions that must guide our common witness as Christians
      at this moment of history is our first obligation of fidelity to the
      Lord, a fidelity that gives meaning to our lives. An ever more
      intense communication and collaboration among the
      congregations, councils, episcopal conferences and superiors
      general, is therefore the first fruits that we must together envision
      in our meeting today.

      The whole church has to face the moral and spiritual teachings
      that face an allergic reaction in the culture

      2. With regard to the subjects explained to me by the Cardinal
      Prefect, I consider it appropriate to take first of all the problem of
      the reception of doctrinal documents, that your Congregation,
      valuable organism at the service of my ministry as universal
      Pastor, is gradually publishing.

      The principal problem you face is the assimilation of their
      content and collaboration in the dissemination and application of
      their practical consequences. The same is true of all the offices
      of the Roman Curia, precisely, united by the same faith and the
      same desire to announce it and witness to it. Indeed, it is the
      aim of the whole Church to proclaim Jesus Christ Our Saviour.

      However, you then have the problem of transmitting to all the
      faithful, indeed to men and women everywhere, and to
      theologians and men and women of the world of culture, the
      fundamental truths that these documents recall. Here the matter
      becomes more complicated and needs attention and thought.
      How much can you blame the difficulties of reception on the
      dynamic of the mass media? How much does it derive from
      current historical situations? Or, simply, how much can it be
      blamed on the difficulty of accepting the demands of the Gospel
      that can be severe yet have the power to set free? Your plenary
      assembly has certainly reflected on these ideas for they
      obviously need time and study.

      For my part, I only wish to recall how listening to one another is
      extremely helpful, so that you can take into account and reflect on
      the suggestions that may enable the message to reach the
      greatest possible number of people in its full integrity. Also there
      is an obvious need for greater involvement of the Episcopal
      Conferences, of the individual bishops and, through them, of all
      the preachers of the Gospel, in the work of knowing how to
      present the more difficult topics of the faith today. Lastly, there is
      a problem of life style, of coherent life style that creates an
      obstacle. The resistance is also a challenge and an invitation to
      witness with your holiness of life, to the centrality of Christ´s love
      in our lives, to counter other short-lived themes that reduce its
      persuasive power.

      How to present the centrality of the Sacrifice of Christ in the

      3. Coming now to the theme of the Eucharist and Church, I want
      to stress the centrality of the Eucharist for the life of the world to
      which the Lord has sent us as the seed of renewal. If the Church
      returns to her Eucharistic source, she will recover her authentic
      nature and strength, and that will relativize the urgent debates
      over organizational issues while it will highlight consecration to
      God and fraternal sharing that will enable her to overcome
      fragmentation and division. Moreover, the powerful presence of
      the sacrifice of Christ in the Eucharist keeps the Mass from
      being reduced to a gathering for a convivial meal. The Sacrifice
      stands for ever as a sign of contradiction, and is the place where
      we can verify the degree of our conformity to the radical message
      of Christ, in our relationship with God and with our brothers and

      How to present the relevance of the natural law

      Taking a look at the other subject, the study of how we lost sight
      of the relevance of the natural law, I want to recall, what I said in
      my Encyclical Letters Veritatis splendor, Evangelium vitae, and
      Fides et ratio, that with the natural law we are in the presence of
      a doctrine that belongs to the great patrimony of human wisdom,
      purified and brought to its fullness by the light of Revelation.
      Natural law is the rational creature´s participation in the eternal
      law of God. On the one hand, we depend on the new law of the
      Spirit of life in Christ Jesus in order to grasp it, on the other hand,
      the natural law itself offers a basis for dialogue with persons
      who come from another cultural orientation or formation in the
      search for the common good. In a time of great world-wide threat
      to the welfare of many nations, communities and peoples,
      especially the weakest, I can only rejoice in the work you have
      undertaken to rediscover the value of this doctrine that will even
      be helpful for Christian legislators in the challenges they face as
      they uphold human dignity and human rights.

      Thank you for dealing with the serious moral problems of the

      4. Finally, I thank you for undertaking as a Congregation, to
      collaborate in dealing with several serious moral problems, that
      demand your special competence and knowledge. In facing
      these problems, over and above indispensable therapeutic
      procedures, you will need to propose satisfactory methods of
      education including spiritual and other forms of direction that will
      result in better formation.

      ""Duc in altum!´ -- Put out into the deep!": Jesus said to Peter and
      his companions on the shore of Galilee. By taking up such
      subjects, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the
      dawn of the new millennium, is "putting out into the deep",
      namely, setting out on a deep reflection that will enable the
      whole Church to have a greater impact on the hearts and minds
      of all the members of the human family, to lead them all back to
      our single origin, the Father who so loved us that he gave his
      beloved Only Son, to redeem the world.

      * * *

      Press Assailed for Manipulating Pope´s Words on Divorce

      Interview with President of the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 30, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The press twisted
      John Paul II´s words when he spoke about divorce to the Roman
      Rota on Monday, according to Church officials and laymen in

      Bishop Giuseppe Betori, secretary-general of the Italian
      episcopal conference, said that the Pope "appealed to the
      conscience" of lawyers and judges and did not advocate
      "conscientious objection," which is not juridically codified in this
      matter. In fact, the Holy Father did not use this term.

      John Paul II said literally: "In exercising a liberal profession,
      lawyers can always decline to use their profession for an end
      that is contrary to justice, such as divorce."

      "They can only collaborate in an action of this kind when, in
      keeping with the client´s intentions, it is not directed to the
      rupture of marriage, but to other legitimate effects, which can
      only be attained by a specific juridical ruling through the judicial
      avenue," the Pope said.

      Vatican Radio interviewed Francesco D´Agostino, president of
      the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists, to have a better
      understanding of the Pope´s words.

      Q: Did John Paul II exceed the area of his ministry when he
      addressed the question of divorce, as some periodicals stated?

      D´Agostino: What the Pope said -- that is, that divorce is a
      devastating phenomenon -- is not an affirmation of a
      religious-spiritual nature; it is an exact photograph of today´s
      social reality.

      Intellectual honesty exacts recognition of the fact that the juridical
      and social order cannot be passive and indifferent to the
      manipulation of family crises. There is nothing in what the Pope
      said that goes against the juridical-positive reality of the different
      countries. The fact that the law allows for divorce does not mean
      that it must be superficially accepted or favored.

      Q: The Pope asked Catholic lawyers and all those who work in
      the juridical field not to give in to the "divorce" mentality. A difficult
      demand, don´t you think? Exaggerated?

      D´Agostino: There is no human or professional ambit that does
      not reflect on problems of this type. The demands of ethics are
      also hard and difficult. It is never easy to translate them
      immediately into daily life.

      However, precisely for this reason the good is fascinating and
      represents a polar star in the life of every man. Therefore, it is
      necessary to recognize that an arduous, responsible and
      exhausting commitment is necessary which in certain contexts --
      fortunately extreme ones -- borders on the heroic. It is an
      invitation to all jurists to be conscious of the height of their

      A lawyer is not a simple bureaucrat who puts a seal on a
      document prepared by others, for which he has no responsibility.
      The lawyer, together with the client, contributes to build, to
      remodel the social dynamic, and it is not right to think that the
      social dynamic can be abandoned to the mercy of superficiality,
      which, unfortunately, surrounds us today, and which manifests
      itself in our case in forms of conjugal and family life crises that
      are truly disconcerting.

      * * *

      Holy See Aide´s Address at U.N. on Racism

      "Family of Nations Needs a Concerted Program of Action"

      NEW YORK, JAN. 30, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Renato R.
      Martino, the Holy See´s permanent observer to the United
      Nations, gave this address Monday on racism to a committee of
      the General Assembly.

      Intervention by H.E. Archbishop Renato R. Martino
      Apostolic Nuncio,
      Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the U.N.
      Before the Resumed Session of the Third Committee of the
      General Assembly
      on Item 117

      Elimination of racism and racial discrimination -- The Report of
      the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination,
      Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

      Mr Chairman,

      No one can deny that, today, the family of nations needs a
      concerted programme of action to address Racism. We need to
      explore new ways to foster, for the future, the harmonious
      coexistence and interaction of individuals and peoples, in full
      respect of each other´s dignity, identity, history and tradition. We
      need a culture, to use the words of Pope John Paul II, "in which
      we recognize, in every man and woman, a brother and a sister
      with whom we can together walk the path of solidarity and
      peace" (Angelus, 26 August 2001). Our world needs to be
      reminded that humanity exists as a single human family, within
      which the concept of racial superiority has no place.

      The Holy See worked together with the Delegations of so many
      countries to ensure that the "World Conference against Racism,
      Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance"
      would produce the blueprint for such a programme. Particular
      thanks are due to the Government of South Africa that hosted
      and guided the Conference. The preparation of the Conference
      proved, however, more difficult than was imagined. Certain
      moments of the preparatory process were tense, certain
      expressions used were unfortunately inappropriate for a
      Conference that was to foster tolerance. This is to be regretted.
      The final results are the fruit of compromise, which may leave
      many unsatisfied.

      It must be asked, therefore, why did the family of nations find it
      so difficult to address the question of racism? Why was it so
      difficult to address a complex of contemporary issues, which we
      all recognize as posing a threat to the maintenance of
      harmonious international relations? Why was it so difficult to
      address what we all recognize constitutes a clear offence
      against the fundamental dignity of persons, men and women,
      our brothers and sisters, created in the image of God?

      These are questions that the family of nations must legitimately
      pose, because they say something about the state of
      international relations.

      All this, Mr Chairman, must bring us back to what I said in my
      opening words: the family of nations needs a concerted
      programme of action to address the question of racism. It needs
      such a programme urgently and today. The task of launching this
      programme cannot be put off. We must begin now.

      Perhaps, in our reflection on the Durban Conference, we should
      begin by asking another question: can the world do without the
      constructive contributions, the fruit in so many cases of our
      common endeavor, which are gathered together in the final
      documents of the Durban Conference? Can we leave them
      aside and leave addressing the question of racism and racial
      discrimination for another day?

      The answer must be a clear no. The fight against racism is
      urgent. It must be explicit and direct. Too often in history,
      uncritical societies have stood by inactive as new signs of
      racism raised their head. If we are not alert, hatred and racial
      intolerance can reappear in any society, no matter how advanced
      it may consider itself.

      My Delegation therefore urges all nations to take up without
      delay, individually and in collaboration with other States and the
      Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a clear
      programme to fight racism, using the many positive elements of
      the Durban documents.

      Such a programme must begin at the level of national legislation
      and practice. The World Conference urged all States to ensure
      that "their legislation expressly and specifically prohibit racial
      discrimination and provide effective judicial remedies and
      redress" (Programme of Action, n.163). Such legislation must
      address in particular the situation of refugees and migrants, who
      are often victims of discrimination. It must address the situation
      of indigenous peoples. It must address minority groupings.

      Legislation must be accompanied by education. Education on
      racial tolerance must be a normal part of the educational
      programmes for children at all levels. The family, the basic
      social unit of society, must be the first school of openness and
      acceptance of others. Government agencies may never justify
      racial profiling and the mass media must be alert to avoid any
      type of stereotyping of persons on a racial basis.

      In particular, the Holy See would like to address the question of
      racism and religious intolerance, which is taken up on different
      occasions in the Durban documents.

      The Durban Declaration requests that measures be taken to
      ensure that members of ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities
      should not be denied the right to practice their religion. It
      recognized with deep concern "the emergence of hostile acts
      and violence against [certain] communities because of their
      religious beliefs and their racial and ethnic origin in various parts
      of the world that in particular limit their right to freely practice their
      belief" (n.59).

      True religious belief is absolutely incompatible with racist
      attitude and racist practices. Pope John Paul II, before the
      Durban Conference, made an appeal in this sense to all
      believers, noting that we cannot truly call on God, the father of all,
      if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any person, created in
      God´s image. Through their common belief in the dignity of every
      individual and in the unity of the human family, believers of all
      faiths can indeed bring strong leadership in fostering
      understanding and reconciliation among peoples.

      In a world in which religion is often exploited as a means to
      deepen existing political, social or economic divisions, it is
      encouraging to note the growing number of initiatives, both at the
      local and on the international level, of dialogue among religions.
      Interreligious dialogue, today more than ever, is a vital element
      in fostering peace and understanding and in overcoming
      historical divisions and misunderstandings. Such dialogue can
      and should be a strong contribution to the fight against racism.

      The Durban Declaration (n.8) recalls that religion, spirituality and
      belief play a central role in the lives of men and women and in
      the way they live and treat other persons. It stresses how religion
      contributes "to the promotion of the inherent dignity and worth of
      the human person and to the elimination of racism, racial
      discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance".

      Religion, above all, can be a strong force for that individual and
      collective conversion of hearts, without which hatred, intolerance
      and exclusion will never be eliminated. The fight against racism
      requires a concerted international programme. But the fight
      against racism begins in the heart of each of us, and in the
      collective historical memory of our communities. The fight
      against racism requires a personal change of heart. It requires
      that "healing of memories", that forgiveness for which Pope John
      Paul II called in his last Message for the World Day of Peace,
      when he said: "No peace without justice, no justice without
      forgiveness: I shall not tire of repeating this warning to those
      who, for one reason or another, nourish feelings of hatred, a
      desire for revenge or the will to destroy".

      We cannot go away from this Resumed Session of the United
      Nations General Assembly, Mr Chairman, without giving new
      vigor to the fight against racism. We owe it to the victims of
      racism, we owe it to our people, and we owe it to humanity.

      * * *

      Argentina Prepares for Beatification of Two Argentineans

      Buenos Aires, (31 NE - eclesiales.org) the Church in Argentina
      is preparing for the beatification of two Argentineans, who will be
      elevated to the altars by the Pope John Paul II on 14 April. One is
      Artémides Zatti, a lay professed of the Society of Saint Francis de
      Sales (Salesians) and María del Tránsito de Jesús
      Sacramentado, founder of the Tertiary Missionary Franciscan
      Sisters. Thus, confirmed, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the
      Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints.

      Both will be beatified along with three Servants of God: Ludovico
      Pavoni, priest and founder of the Congregation of the Children of
      Immaculate Mary; Luigi Variara, priest of the Society of Saint
      Francis de Sales (Salesians) and founder of the Institute of the
      Sisters called the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and
      Mary, and Maria Romero Meneses, a professed sister of the
      Instituto de los Hijos de María Auxiliadora (Institute of the
      Children of Mary Our Helper ).

      [text translated and edited by Roman Catholic News]

      * * *

      Pope to Stay Three Days in Mexico, says Cardinal Rivera

      Mexico City, 29 (NE - eclesiales.org) Pope John Paaul II will
      remain three days, from 29 - 31 July, affirmed Cardinal it
      Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico, indicating that the
      canonization of the Blessed Juan Diego would be carried out
      Tuesday 30 of July. Also, he emphasized that the celebration
      would be made in " a sufficiently ample " place to receive the
      multitude that delay for the ceremony, so that the Basilica of
      Guadalupe could not be the chosen place. The Cardinal also
      announced that on the same day, in the evening, the Pope would
      meet with president Vicente Fox Quesada. Equally, between the
      possible activities of the Pope during his stay, the Cardinal
      indicated that before his return to Rome, Wednesday 31, the
      Pontiff would preside over a Mass in the Basilica of Guadalupe
      and, in addition, would have an encounter with the Mexican
      bishops. The Archbishop also informed that the Pope's arrival
      will be from Toronto, where will attend the World-wide Youth Day
      enroute to Mexico City.

      [text translated and edited by Roman Catholic News]

      * * *

      Church in Korea Helps in the Evangelization of Japan

      Rome, (31 NE - eclesiales.org) the Catholic Church in Korea is
      helping in the evangelization of Japan, according to Fides news
      agency. Beginning at the end of January, two priests of the
      Korean diocese of Pusan will collaborate in the diocese of
      Hiroshima, Japan. This is the first time that the Church in Korea
      sends priests to Japan for the ministry of the Japanese local
      faithful. Until now, the Church in Korea had sent priests for the
      pastoral service of the Korean Catholics abroad. Currently,
      Japan has 16 dioceses and around 400,000 Catholics.

      According to Fides, the gesture will help towards the
      reconciliation between the two nations, following the Japanese
      expansionistic attempts during World War II, in Korean resulting
      in a strong distrust between them. " Our expectations are great:
      the gesture will attest to the unity in Christ of our two Churches
      and will play an important role in the construction of positive
      relations between the two nations ", on the matter indicated
      Monsignor Cheong, Bishop of Pusan. In the future, it is possible
      that they will also send seminarians to study theology in Japan
      and be ordained for the service to the Diocese of Hiroshima.

      [text translated and edited by Roman Catholic News]
      © Copyright 2002 John N. Lupia for Roman Catholic News at the
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