Sunday, September 4, 2011

Korean Catholics and World Youth Day

Madrid 2011, World Youth Day, was a reminder that many young  Catholics were still enthusiastic about their faith life. Both Catholic papers interviewed the three Korean bishops who attended. More than 1300 persons from Korea were present and ready to respond to their call and mission within society.

The bishops agreed that they saw much joy in the meetings with the young. It was an opportunity to experience the universality of the Church and the one family of brothers and sisters, overcoming difficulties of language and culture to experience their oneness. To the question on what they saw to be the biggest lack in the preparations, they agreed that having few places set aside for the different cultural groups to meet and share their  heritage was a major problem.  

The bishops were particularly concerned with the problems in Korean society that the young have to face, especially the high unemployment. One bishop felt that the young were overly centered on themselves and hoped their experience in Spain would help them be more communitarian. It was the hope of the bishops that the young Catholics, on returning to Korea, would  put into practice what they had experienced, as they confront the proverbial fork in the road: compromise by living a worldly life or maintain a strong faith life. not only

The interviewer asked the bishops what would they like to say to those working with the youth in Korean dioceses. They felt that the young needed to feel the love of God and the love of the Church for them, and feel the joy of living the faith life. One bishop stressed  the young are not only  the future of the Church but should be part of the present Church, although this is not currently the case in Korea. Another bishop pointed out that those  working with youth should never forget they are teachers and mentors and not only friends.The hope is that  the young will apply what they experienced in Spain to live a more integrated life in the Korean Church.

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