On the occasion of the 29th National Day for Persons with Disabilities, to be held on April 20, 2009, the Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, Episcopal Vicar for the Social Ministry of the Archdiocese of Seoul, issued a message with the theme of “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13,34).
In his message, Bishop Kim stressed that our neighbors with disabilities are same human beings with dignity and rights as I am. He said, “A person cannot be valued by the degree of his/her physical or mental disabilities, but by his/her human dignity.” Then he emphasized that we, human beings, are invaluable beings because we are loved by God.
Then he added, quoting the Encyclical of Pope John Paul II Laborem Exercens: “They too are fully human subjects with corresponding innate, sacred and inviolable rights, and, in spite of the limitations and sufferings affecting their bodies and faculties, they point up more clearly the dignity and greatness of man” (n. 22).
He concluded the message, saying, “I hope that this Day for Persons with Disabilities gives all the people in this land an opportunity to realize our Lord’s love for all of us with or without disabilities.”