Loading
Prayer the most powerful weapon to prevent tragic war in Korea, bishop says
Bishop Peter Keng of Cheju.
Bishop Peter Keng of Cheju.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Calling for worldwide prayers for peace and reconciliation in Korea, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) has warned of “imminent humanitarian catastrophe” in North Korea and has said war would be “a terrible tragedy.”

In a June 19 interview, Bishop Peter Keng of Cheju told Fides news agency about the special Day for Prayer and Reconciliation and Unity of the Korean People, held on Sunday. It had as its theme “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they will be called children of God.” The Day for Prayer and Reconciliation was held as tensions between the north and south are strained over the sinking of a South Korean navy ship.

“War would be a terrible tragedy, and we want to prevent it, using the most powerful of weapons: prayer.”

“It is urgent to find new paths for dialogue and reconciliation,” he commented, adding that the Catholic Church supports Korean religious leaders’ commitment to peace and solidarity.

The bishop reported that the Catholic Church in South Korea, together with other religious communities, has formulated a request to resume humanitarian aid to the North.

“At this time of extreme tension, ways must be found to give new impulse to promoting dialogue and reconciliation,” he told Fides. The aid to the north would be beneficial and its resumption would be “a gesture of goodwill” towards North Koreans who suffer poverty and hunger. The gesture would also “certainly have a positive effect” on the government of North Korea, he thought.

Bishop Keng said at present Caritas Korea is doing nothing because its aid to the North has been stopped.

“This is the first such deadlock in decades. Our concern is to save innocent civilians in North Korea especially the most vulnerable categories, the children, who suffer dramatic consequences when humanitarian aid is stopped,” the bishop explained.

“Local NGOs warn of an imminent humanitarian tragedy in the North,” he continued, acknowledging that the Church has no direct information “but the danger exists.”

Briefly explaining the present policies of the South Korean government towards the North, he said that the government of President Lee Myung-bak stopped various actions of North-South cooperation as early as 2008. The present government is different.

The March crisis triggered when a South Korean warship was sunk by a suspected North Korean torpedo has “clearly worsened the situation” and totally sealed the boarder, the bishop said.

“This latest crisis is breeding sentiments of mistrust and hostility and fear that violence could escalate,” Bishop Keng added, declaring “urgent” the need to stop “this self-feeding spiral.”

Direct dialogue with the North is “extremely difficult” for many reasons, such as its refusal to follow conventional norms. Indirect dialogue through countries such as China becomes “fundamental,” as does the involvement of international institutions such as the United Nations.

“In this extremely delicate situation Korea's religious leaders continue to pronounce just one word: reconciliation,” he explained. “We as Christians can only keep reminding all Koreans and indeed the whole world that the supreme good is reconciliation.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
Oct
2

Liturgical Calendar

October 2, 2014

The Holy Guardian Angels

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 9:57-62

Gospel
Date
10/01/14
09/30/14
09/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Job 19: 21-27

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/01/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 9:57-62

Homily
Date
10/01/14
09/30/14
09/29/14