Monday, December 23, 2013

Unity With the Pope: A Sign of Catholicism

Korea is a small country with a very well organized infrastructure  and blessed with  one language and culture. The Catholic Church has benefited greatly from this basic homogeneity in the work of evangelization. We have the appearance of unity, which at times gives way to partisan concerns  of the members. This is not surprising for the Church is a part of the society in which we live, but when the issues are serious enough to pit one group against the other, it causes concern.

Over the years the different factions, political  or philosophical have not often surfaced  to need a spotlight,  but recently this has not been the case, and one of the columnists alludes to this right beside the editorial in the Catholic Times, which  considers the problem serious enough to bring it to the attention of the  readers. Especially after finishing the Year of Faith, which was meant to grow closer to Jesus, become more familiar with his teaching, and to renew ourselves and the Church.

With the retirement of Pope Benedict and the beginning of the  papacy of Pope Francis we have a new beginning. Francis wants the Church in preaching the Gospel  to be missionary and to  understand the social dimension of the message and bring about the internal renewal and reform. He is making this clear by his words and actions wanting to energize the Church.

With this as a background, the editorial  mentions that many priests, religious, and lay people who are sensitive to the political issues in society are expressing their views, which are giving rise to discord and conflict within the Church. The evils that are seen in society are connected  to our understanding of justice  and when this is expressed, we have  hostility and division.

The editorial goes on to say  they do not see this tension and  discord completely  as something negative. The Church is made up of members of society and consequently, to have differences of opinion on some  matters is not strange. However, this disunity should not harm our community and the love we have for one another that comes from the Gospel message of Jesus.

We need to have respect for one another, and patiently work to communicate in  dialogue  wanting to understand the  other, and  remembering  the fellowship and unity that we have been called to embrace as disciples. We are coming to the end of the calendar year, and we should ask ourselves how we are preparing for the New Year.

Even though we have a difference of opinion, we should not resort to propaganda, deny the existence of the other or condemn the other. This is a way of entering the new year with  peace. The accompanying column mentions that the Pope was said to be a Marxist which of course, he denied, but it should help those who have difficulty with the Church getting involved in what some consider politics, something to think about.

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