CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 October 2018

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South Korean Church campaigns against legalising abortion

Seoul (UCAN): As South Korea continues to modernise and with the number of single mothers on the rise, calls to decriminalise abortion have increased from sectors of society. In response, the Catholic Church launched a signature campaign on 3 December 2017 to keep the country’s anti-abortion law in place and has gathered over a million names to date. 
 
“The signature-gathering campaign was (conducted) voluntarily and it served as an opportunity to spread the teachings of the Church,” said Father Remigius Lee Dong-ik, secretary of the Committee for Bioethics of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea.
 
A special Mass was celebrated at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul on February 12 at which the petition, with 1,005,000 signatures was presented. 
 
“(This) shows how desperate the Church is to fulfill its mission of protecting all forms of life,” said Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, the archbishop of Seoul.
 
He called the speed with which so many signatures were added, “an appeal to society” and said, “even a foetus is a reflection of God, a citizen of our society and a human life that should be respected.”
 
The second phase of its campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the danger of consenting to a culture of death across South Korean society, will last until March 18.
 
“I hope the campaign is used as a tool to spread the idea that we must respect life,” said the head of the bishop’s conference, Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju.

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