ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - Day of prayer for national unity and reconciliation: culture of confrontation must give way to culture of harmony

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Seoul (Fides Service) - The present day culture of confrontation must give way to a culture of harmony and peaceful co-existence and reconciliation. This was the central message which emerged after a June 19th Day of Prayer for national unity and reconciliation held every year in South Korea.
In a special message for the occasion Bishop Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, President of the Korean Bishops’ Commission for promoting National Reconciliation said: “We must stop criticising each other for our different styles of life or points of view and start frank dialogue in order to rediscover things that unite us”. Bishop Lucas called on Catholics to pray for the unity of the Korean people especially this year 2005 which marks the 60th anniversary of the North South Joint Declaration. “Although we have not yet reached the time for re-unification, we pray that with the help of God’s love we may soon be united as we were before” and he called on all South Koreans to sow seeds of justice, peace and joy .
The Catholic Church in South Korea has always worked actively to promote national peace, to improve south north relations and reunite the people of the peninsula. Besides helping to collect aid for north Koreans distributed by local Caritas humanitarian missions, since 1965 local Catholics in south Korea have organised an annual Day of Prayer for National Reconciliation and Unity on the Sunday nearest to June 25, the day the Korean war broke out (1950-53). (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/6/2005 righe 26 parole 287)