Tuesday, 11 November 2003

Seoul (Fides Service) – Korean Catholics who emigrate must be provided with special pastoral care chaplains. Especially trained priests should accompany Korean Catholic communities overseas for at least five years to ensure organic and effective pastoral assistance. This was said in a letter issued by the Commission for Pastoral Care of Migrants of the Korean Catholic Bishops ‘ Conference. Copies of the letter were sent to Superiors of Religious Institutes and local Churches in the United States and European countries with large communities of Korean immigrants including Catholics. Signed by Bishop Peter Kang U-il head of the Commission, the letter deals with a series of questions regarding pastoral care of Korean Catholics who settle in other countries. The Bishops stress the importance of the presence of a Korean priest to administer the Sacraments. These priests must be properly trained with specific formation before they are sent overseas to serve as chaplains to immigrant communities of Korean Catholics. The letter suggests that a priest charged with the care of Catholics overseas should be given a mandate of at least 5 years to give him time to become familiar with the culture and customs of the hosting country and plan an organic pastoral programme with middle term and long term objectives. PA (Fides Service 11/11/2003 EM lines 21 Words: 202)