ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - The Church to the people of North Korea: "Peace be with you"

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - "Peace be with you": a strong appeal for reconciliation, solidarity, fraternity comes from the Church of South Korea to the people of "Brothers and sisters in North Korea." This is what is said in the Bishops' message for the "Day of Prayer for reconciliation and unity of the Korean people" which will be celebrated tomorrow, June 24, 2012, in all the Korean dioceses. In churches, says to Fides Fr. John Bosco Byeon, Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Korea, "
special masses for reconciliation and peace are held, and in some places there are prayer meetings and processions in the streets, while some communities experienced a novena of preparation, gathering to pray the Rosary for peace for nine days. "
The Bishops' message, sent to Fides Agency, is signed by His Exc. Mgr. Peter Lee Ki-Heon, President of "the Episcopal Commission for Reconciliation of the Korean people." In the text, titled "Peace be with you" (Jn 20:19), the Bishops deplore the distance, the suffering, the lack of dialogue between the two Koreas, divided for over 60 years. Above all, the message expresses deep concern for the families separated by the border of the two Koreas, who have been unable to meet for decades, with great suffering for all. The issue of North Korean refugees will be faced, who are having to deal with many obstacles before being able to visit their hometown and their families in the South. In conclusion, the Bishop says in the text: "Our first duty now is to hope and pray that an agreement is reached to drive out the dark clouds of division and conflict. I am sure the Lord will respond if we turn our earnest prayer to the One who guides our steps on the path of peace."
Since 1965, the Catholics in South Korea have organized a "Day of Prayer for National Reconciliation" in the Sunday closest to June 25, the day when the Korean War broke out (1950-53). (PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/6/2012)