The Pope reaffirms the Catholic Church’s commitment to Korea
60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations
Vatican News - File photo
The Holy Father’s Telegram on the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Korea and the Holy See is an important document that highlights the achievements of relations between the two countries and reaffirms the Catholic Church’s commitment to Korea.
In the telegram, he congratulated the Republic of Korea and the Korean Catholic Church on the anniversary of their diplomatic relations. The Pope recalls that relations between the two countries date back centuries and have been strengthened in recent years.
He also emphasised the role of the Catholic Church in Korea. The Pope said that the Catholic Church has been a “beacon of hope and faith” for the Korean people. The Pope also praised the work of the Catholic Church in the areas of education, health, and social welfare.
We publish below the telegram that Holy Father Francis sent to the Bishop of Suwon, H.E. Archbishop Matthias Ri Iong-hoon, for the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Korea and the Holy See:
Telegram from the Holy Father
THE MOST REVEREND MATTHIAS RI IONG-HOON
BISHOP OF SUWON
PRESIDENT OF THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF KOREA
I SEND HEARTFELT GOOD WISHES AND THE ASSURANCE OF MY SPIRITUAL CLOSENESS TO YOU, YOUR BROTHER BISHOPS AND ALL GATHERED FOR THE SPECIAL MASS TO COMMEMORATE THE SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND THE HOLY SEE. THIS SIGNIFICANT CELEBRATION IS A MOMENT FOR GIVING THANKS TO ALMIGHTY GOD FOR THE MANY GRACES RECEIVED BY THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY AND THE KOREAN PEOPLE OVER THESE PAST DECADES, AND I READILY ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH YOUR GRATITUDE EXPRESSED IN THIS SOLEMN EUCHARIST. IN A PARTICULAR WAY, WE CAN BE THANKFUL FOR THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL, THE GROWTH OF THE LOCAL CHURCH AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO THE WELLBEING OF KOREAN SOCIETY, AND I TRUST THAT THIS INFLUENCE WILL CONTINUE TO BEAR CULTURAL AND SPIRITUAL FRUITS, ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE MARGINALISED, IMPOVERISHED AND WITHOUT HOPE. IN THIS REGARD, I FONDLY RECALL MY VISIT TO YOUR COUNTRY IN 2014 AND THE BEATIFICATION MASS OF THE KOREAN MARTYRS WHO OUT OF LOVE FOR JESUS AND THEIR DESIRE TO SPREAD GOD’S KINDGOM GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THIS LAND AND SOWED THE SEEDS FOR WHAT HAS BECOME A BLOSSOMING AND VIBRANT CHURCH. THE YOUTH OF TODAY ARE THE HEIRS OF THIS GREAT TESTIMONY OF FAITH, AND I PRAY THAT THEY WILL CARRY ON THIS PRECIOUS WITNESS TO CHRIST AS THEY PREPARE FOR THE WORLD YOUTH DAY CELEBRATIONS TO BE HELD IN 2027. IT IS LIKEWISE MY HOPE THAT THE GOOD RELATIONS BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA AND THE HOLY SEE WILL CONTINUE TO FLOURISH AS WE WORK TOGETHER ON MATTERS OF COMMON CONCERN, ESPECIALLY PEACE AND RECONCILIATION ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA. WITH THESE SENTIMENTS, I ENTRUST ALL OF YOU TO THE INTERCESSION OF THE KOREAN MARTYRS AND MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH, AND I GLADLY IMPART MY BLESSING AS A PLEDGE OF GRACE AND PEACE IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.