SEOUL, April 19, 2013–The World Youth Day in Rio “is an opportunity to invite Pope Francis to come to South Korea There are many opportunities: the Asian Youth Day, the possible beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs, the next WYD. The Pope’s visit would be a celebration for the whole Asian continent”, the bishop of Daejeon, Msgr. Lazzaro You Heung-sik tells AsiaNews.
The bishop has just returned from a trip to the U.S., where many priests who come from his diocese are in ministry: “I visited the Korean Catholic community of Seattle and I met three U.S. bishops: I found them all excited about Pope Francis. One of the Americans bishops was very happy to tell me that 95% of Catholics and 85% of all U.S. citizens have expressed approval for his election. It really is a new era, a new challenge for the Church. I have seen a renewed commitment”.
“I spoke to the Korean community about Benedict XVI, the greatness of his resignation and his commitment to the Catholic faith in the world. Then we spoke about Pope Francis together and the way in which Korean Catholics can live according to the Pope’s example. There I found a people who were enthusiastic and proud of their faith. ”
It is this enthusiasm that characterizes the Korean Church – one of the most dynamic in Asia – that is the basis of the invitation that Msgr. You wants to extend to the Pope: “I will go to Brazil with 300 young Koreans. The first stage will be in the Diocese of Campinas, where 4 priests sent there from my diocese currently work. It is close to San Paolo, we are organizing various activities to engage the Korean and Brazilian youth, together. ”
From there, the group will fly to Rio to welcome the Pope: “In the coming period we have so many beautiful and important appointments. From October 1 to 7 Cardinal Filoni will be in Korea for the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Suwon. On Sunday, October 6, he will come here to us in Daejeon, because we are preparing for the Asian Youth Day to be held August 10 to 17, 2014. Additionally there is the possibility that the 124 Korean martyrs, currently Servants of God, may soon be beatified: We really do us have to invite the Pope for that! ”
Meanwhile, the bishop is preparing for the celebration of World Day for Vocations on April 21: “We will all be together at the major seminary of the diocese. More or less 10 thousand people to pray with congregations of men and women, with the priests and the bishop. And we hope that God will help increase our numbers. (AsiaNews)
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