CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 14 September 2019

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Mass for peace on the 69th anniversary of the Korean War

SEOUL (SE): The Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea held a special Mass on June 25 at Peace World Park in Imjingak, South Korea, near the demilitarised zone commemorating the 69th anniversary of outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. South Korean bishops were joined by around 20,000 people from dioceses around the country in praying for peace on the divided peninsula, in the first such event in eight years.
 
Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, who is also apostolic administrator of Pyongyang in North Korea, concelebrated the Mass together with Archbishop Alfred Xureb, the apostolic nuncio to Korea; Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-jong of Kwangju, the head of the episcopal conference; Archbishop Thaddeus Cho Hwan-kil of Daegu; and other bishops of South Korea.
 
At the start of the Mass, Cardinal Yeom dedicated celebration to those who died and sacrificed during the war, “In particular, let us remember the separated families and displaced people who still suffer from the pains of war,” he said adding that the entire Church, including Pope Francis, is “praying for the seeds of peace to be planted in our painful history.”
 
Archbishop Kim, called on the leaders of the two Koreas to work for reconciliation and prosperity rather than personal pride or political causes. He expressed the hope that an expected summit between South Korea and the United States might be another stepping stone towards peace and unification.
 
The Committee for the Reconciliation issued a letter in which Bishop Peter Lee Ki-heon of Uijeongbu, president of the committee, called for the “prompt resumption of mutual dialogue” continued personal contact, the offering of humanitarian aid, as well as “encouragement and support from the international community.” 

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