Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - "I believe that today's recognition given by the Holy See to the Catholic pilgrimage routes of Seoul as an 'international pilgrimage destination' will be a milestone for the Churches in Asia. These pilgrimage routes will play a key role in introducing Korean culture and the Korean Church in international society": with these words Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, greeted, during a Mass, the ceremony in which the "Routes of the Catholic pilgrimage of Seoul", become an official site recognized by the Vatican. As reported to Fides by the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of Seoul, the ceremony took place on September 14 in the Sanctuary of the martyrs of Seosomun, in the presence of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and over 1500 people including Bishops, priests, lay people, and leaders of young Asian Catholics. Moreover, among the civil authorities, there was Do Jong-hwan, minister of culture, sport and tourism, Park Won-soon, mayor of Seoul. Archbishop Fisichella said: "The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization is convinced that these Pilgrimage Routes are an effective way for the Church in Korea to honor the memory of its martyrs. These routes can help pilgrims to reflect on the fact that human life has been created out of love and can contribute to open hearts to the transforming power of God's grace, which confers the gift of faith".
In the Mass before the ceremony, Archbishop Hygunus Kim Hee-joong, President of the Bishops' Conference of Korea, said: "The 3rd Summit between South Korea and North Korea will be held next week. I am sure that prayers will be of great help, inviting everyone to pray for the upcoming South-North summit, scheduled in Pyongyang". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 17/9/2018)