Naju is making the news again; an old story that does not want to die. The ordinaries of the Kwangju Archdiocese have studied the events starting in July 30,1985 with the weeping statue of the Blessed Mother, and made it clear there is no evidence that the events are supernatural--perhaps they show some preternatural power. However, there is another chapter with a so called "miracle" in Rome written up in an Italian Magazine.
An archbishop and Cardinal, who spent time in Korea as Apostolic Delegates and have returned to Rome show sympathy for what they saw on their trips to Naju. They have accepted what is being said by the supporters of Mrs. Julia Youn, who has been receiving the messages from the Blessed Mother. The archbishop was even present at the so called miracle in Rome, and they both considered the miracle in Naju as authentic when they were here in Korea.
A priest from Kwangju Diocese has made a study of Naju for his master's degree in Applied Theology, and concurs with the results of the Naju Investigation Committee that sees no evidence of the Supernatural. This paper is now being distributed to the dioceses that want to inform the Catholics on the occurences at Naju.
Rome has not changed their opinion about the phenomena and respects the decision of the Diocese that has studied all the facts. However, with powerful men who are in Rome the supporters of Julia Youn have made a DVD and sent them throughout the country and also overseas, so the confusion is going to continue. The DVDs include the words of the archbishop and the Cardinal in support of the phenomena which is in opposition to the decision of the Ordinary of the Diocese. The Diocese has excommunicated all those who participate in the events at Naju but this has not stopped the visits. The Cardinal and the archbishop are speaking as individuals, and it is not a decision of the Church, but it is easily seen why some of the Catholics have difficulty understanding what is going on.
Supporters of Naju see those in opposition as part of the liberal segment of the Church in Korea; they are dividing the liberal and conservative elements as if the conservative would support Naju. It is a private revelation and there should be a certain amount of humility shown in accepting the wishes of the Ordinary of the Diocese. However, the Cardinal and archbishop do not feel bound. Those who wish to disobey the wishes of the archbishop of Kwangju have easy access to people in high places, which makes the position of the Korean Bishops awkward.
To many, even if the Blessed Mother was speaking to Julia Youn, she would want the Catholics to listen to the Bishop of the Diocese rather than her, but that kind of thinking doesn't seem to have any persuasive power in these days of dissent and personal opinion pushed to center stage. Both Catholic newspapers have covered the story this week, and the Church will do its best to try to keep the Catholics informed but people like to hear miracle stories.