New papal letter gives direction to Korean Church: Bishop

The prelate was commenting on the text signed by Pope Francis and delivered to the universal Church at the closing Mass of the Year of Faith.

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Dec 04 2013, 3:01 PM
New papal letter gives direction to Korean Church: Bishop

The Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, "is a compass for the Korean Church. It shows us how to move forward, how to face the challenges of the modern world," said Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik of Daejeon.

The prelate was commenting on the text signed by Pope Francis and delivered to the universal Church at the closing Mass of the Year of Faith.

Bishop You explained that the joy that characterizes the text is symbolic of Francis' pontificate: "The homilies of the morning masses, the angelus, general audiences ... They are all united by joy and pastoral sensitivity. When the Pope speaks, his words seem to enter the heart of the listener. And this is true both for the faithful present and for the universal Church, even in those most distant from Rome."

The Bishop of Daejeon stressed the pastoral importance of the Exhortation: "The Pope tells us that ministry is to fill people with joy, warm their hearts. A theme that he often points out, that he cares deeply about; as he cares about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, one most often mentioned by the pope. When he said he confesses every two weeks I felt compelled to examine my conscience."

Even the economic topics dealt with in Evangelii Gaudium "are very important, especially in a country like South Korea, where the role of economics and finance is considered very important. The Pope explains the imbalance in the general public’s attention to the marketplace and humanity very well. In both Korea and worldwide, we need to find a balance between the economy and a real brotherhood. I was also very pleased by the emphasis on the laity and women: in Korea there is a lot of 'clericalism', more responsibility needs to be given to all those who make up the body of the Church. The role of women and young people is very important, and we must strive to enhance it".

Bishop You recalled what he considered to be the central point of the text, “Jesus died and rose again. This is the meaning of Christianity; the Pope concentrates on the essentials of our faith: the Church is open again to all the people, because as Jesus teaches us, the love of Catholics must be above everything. Personally, I have always said that the Christian's uniform is the face of the risen Christ. A face that always expresses the joy of the resurrection in the Gospel."

Source: AsiaNews

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