Monday, April 1, 2013

Important Issues for Korean Catholicism

Celebrating 87 years of publication, The Catholic Times sent a questionnaire to a hundred Korean theologians. They were to select what they considered the most important issues for Pope Francis to deal with during his pontificate, and what actions they would recommend the pope to take to resolve these issues. A similar questionnaire was sent to theologians after the selection of Benedict XVI in 2005.

The Catholic Times gave the questionnaire a great deal of space along with an editorial on the subject. The Catholic press has been talking about these areas of Catholic life for sometime, and it was interesting to see what the theologians considered important.

The issues considered important, from most to least important were:  Coping with the secularism and relativism of society. (37 theologians)
Implementing the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. (27)
Poverty and globalization (24)
Renewal of the Vatican. (20)
Life, family and moral questions--such as abortion, contraception, homosexuality. (16)
Role of the laity. (14)
Caring for the natural environment. (12)
Celibacy and women priests. (12)
Evangelization, dialogue and witnessing. (10)
More autonomy of local churches (8)
Ecumenicism and Church unity. (7)
New understanding of collegiality. (2)
The place of women in the Church. (2) 
Religious freedom. (0)

The list of issues given the theologians back in 2005 were not the same as the above, but it does help us see what was considered important at that time.

Collegiality in the governing of the Church. (20)
Conflict of European culture and Christian values. (40)
Dialogue and witnessing in evangelizing. (40)
The ministerial priesthood. (22)
Culture of life issues. (37)
Movements of the laity and church life. (24)
Renewal of the Church and implementing Vatican II. (8)

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