VATICAN - SOUTH KOREA
Fr Lombardi: pope considering trip to Korea
Holy See Press Office director says Francis might visit the Korean Peninsula to attend Asian Youth Day in August in Daejeon.
City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis could make a visit to South Korea in
2014, Holy See Press Office director Fr. Federico Lombardi told
journalists this morning.
The pope is
considering a visit to the Korean Peninsula as part of Asian Youth Day,
which will take place in August in the Diocese of Daejeon.
On his way back from World Youth Day in Brazil, the bishop of Daejeon had told AsiaNews that the Bishops' Conference and the South Korean government were trying to get Francis to visit the Asian Nation.
to Mgr Lazarus You Heung-sik, a papal visit "would give new momentum to
our missionary Church and the Churches of Asia, as well as help peace
talks with North Korea."
himself renewed the invitation in a letter to the pope in which he
presented Youth Day, an event that will bring together young Catholics
from all over the continent.
South Korea's Catholic Church and Catholic community strongly hope that the Pope will visit their country.
year, plans are underway for two events of great importance for the
Church in South Korea and Asia. In addition to Asian Youth Day, a decree
of beatification is expected for 124 "new" South Korean martyrs, and Francis himself might beatify them in person.
his way home from his trip to Brazil, the Pope had told reporters that
he planned to visit Asia in 2014. "I have been invited to go to Sri
Lanka and also to the Philippines. But I must go to Asia. Because Pope
Benedict did not have time to go to Asia, and it is important. He went
to Australia and then to Europe and America, but Asia . . ."
his recent New Year's Greetings to the diplomats accredited with the
Holy See, the pope said, "On this, the fiftieth anniversary of
diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea, I wish to implore from
God the gift of reconciliation on the peninsula, and I trust that, for
the good of all the Korean people, the interested parties will
tirelessly seek out points of agreement and possible solutions.
sign of the pope's interest towards Korea is his decision to name Mgr
Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul and apostolic administrator of
Pyongyang, to the post of cardinal.