ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - “Christ, the one foundation of the Church”: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Korean Catholic Bishops issue message

Monday, 17 January 2005

Seoul (Fides Service) - On the occasion of the annual week of prayer for Christian unity 18-25 January marked by Christians of different denominations all over the world, the Catholic Bishops of Korea issued a message addressed to Christians in Korea with the theme of the Week as its title “Christ the one foundation of the Church”(1 Cor 3, 1-23).
In the message, signed by Bishop Hyginus Kim Hee-jong, auxiliary of Kwangju diocese and President of the Bishops’ Commission for Ecumenism, the Bishops urged Christians in Korea to invoke the Holy Spirit and take steps forward on the path of unity among all Christians, stressing that “the ecumenical movement in Korea must be considered an essential mission for the Church not only an event to celebrate once a year. Without fundamental spiritual co-operation communion cannot be complete. Christian communities should approach one another with respect for their charisma and with docility to the Holy Spirit”.
Referring to “divisions among Christians in the recent past”, the Bishops wrote: “We must forgiveness from one another and beg God’s mercy for what we have done”.
The message also said “in many parts of the world people suffer because of war, discrimination, poverty and hunger” and recalled the victims of the recent tragic tsunami in south Asia: “Christian communities must remain in front line to help these people overcome the effects of these natural disasters”.
Last of all the Bishops said they hoped the ecumenical movement would continue as a daily journey, not sporadic, for all Christians.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/1/2005 righe 28 parole 287)