CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 7 September 2019

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Korean and French Churches cement ties

SEOUL (UCAN): An official delegation representing the French Catholic Bishops’ Conference visited South Korea from October 14 to 23 to pay homage to various holy places, including Galmaemot and Saenamteo, where nine French missionaries were beheaded during the 1866 Byeongin Persecution.

A total of 66 people, including Jean-Pierre Cardinal Ricard, from Bordeaux, and five other bishops made the trip to strengthen ongoing relations between the local Korean and French Churches.

At a discussion in Seoul on October 20, bishops from both countries pledged their cooperation. The French showed a special interest in the pastoral activities of the Korean Church, the Basic Ecclesia Community movement and the Korean Youth Ministry.

“The Catholic Church in Korea could only bloom and unite with the universal Church thanks to the sacrifice of the French missionaries. As a brotherly Church sharing their blood, we will keep our commune with the French Church,” Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, from Seoul, said.

Cardinal Ricard responded, “Through the French missionaries and the Korean martyrs, we share the same experience. With this in mind, we will go out into the world and proclaim the mercy of God.”

Up to 10,000 people, including 12 French missionaries, lost their lives during the period of the persecution. Ten of the French missionaries who were martyred were canonised, along with their Korean counterparts in 1984.

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