Sunday, October 4, 2009

Proposals for Korean Catholic Church

The Catholic Press this week gave good coverage on what transpired at the symposium on Evangelization sponsored by the Korean Bishops' committee on Evangelization. It was an honest appraisal of what is happening and the signs are far from positive. It seemed clear that we are going the way of the West . In the headline for the article in the Catholic Peace Weekly, the grade they gave the Catholic Church was, " external splendor internally empty".

Here are a number of proposals that were offered by the head of the Woori Theology Institute:

1) The program that we have for the military should be strengthened so that those who are baptized know what they are doing and are led to a change in life before baptism.

2) Those in the upper middle class should be an example of Catholic Morality and share their time and material goods with others.

3) Help those who are entering the Church to continue to renew their faith life.

4) The family has to make their faith life part of the family life and stress this with the children.

5) The Church has to emphasize its activity in the larger society.

6) The older Catholics have to be inspired to become interested in participating in the work of the Church

7) Help the woman between the ages of 30 and 40 to get involved by being more concerned with them and changing the way this group was approached.

8) Take note that the polarization does not increase in the Church between those who have and those who don't. The Church should be concerned for those who feel alienated and get involved in society to help them.

The head of the Institute mentioned the parish is not the possession of the priest and this thinking has to be eliminated . The pastoral care of the parish is not to be run according to the likes and dislikes of the pastor but according to the short and long term plans of the community.

These thoughts have been heard and in print for some years but it is getting heard now by an even larger audience. The contents of the symposium was reported in both the Catholic papers this past week. This will no doubt be the concern of the Bishops' Committee for years to come.

There was in the same issue of the Catholic Peace Weekly a press report that the Bishops will be taking a greater interest in those from other cultures who have immigrated to Korea. There will be a meeting of priests from the different dioceses in Masan in the middle of the month, to discuss the pastoral approach to these immigrant groups. This will continue for the future.

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