Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pope Francis' Ten Keywords

Korean Catholics are waiting for Pope Francis' visit to Korea from August 14th to 18th at the invitation of President Park and the Catholic Church of Korea. Preparations have continued for some time, and will include printing books, introducing the Catholics to the lives of the 124 martyrs who will be beatified, pilgrimages to the  many shrines, lectures and  programs to help the Catholics to grow in their faith life, using the visit of the Pope as the catalyst. Reports say the Catholics of North Korea have been invited to come to Korea for  the Mass in the Cathedral Church of Seoul before the pope leaves Korea.They have expressed interest.

Cardinal Yeom recently did visit the industrial complex in North Korea for a one-day visit. After the visit, Cardinal Yeom said: "The distance between Seoul and the Kaesong Industrial Park is slightly over 60km. I thought about how we live thinking this short distance is so far."

In the  Peace Weekly there is an article about Fr. Cha Dong-yeop of the  Future Pastoral Institute of Incheon on his  program on Peace TV. He introduces the viewing audience to  ten key works, he says, helps to understand Pope Francis. The only way most of the Korean Catholics hear what the Pope has to say is in translation. The opportunities of coming in contact with the teaching and values that the pope is expressing  are not easily attained by the ordinary Korean.

Fr. Cha has gone through the books written by the pope, his sermons and news reports about the pope, and has made a list of 10 keywords which he feels gives a good idea of the emphasis that the Pope is showing in what he says and does. Fr. Cha says, there is much written on the theological and moral position of the pope but not the pastoral approach. They are also sign posts  for our own spiritual life.

* Happiness * Mercy * Poverty * Teaching  on  Love * Pope's Name, Francis * His grandmother's legacy *  The pope's prayer * What can be changed and what can't be changed * Communication * A Church without walls. These  are the ten ways Fr. Cha wants to express the main points of  Pope Francis' pastoral concerns.  The only one that may be difficult to understand would be the legacy of his grandmother: "A burial gown doesn't need pockets."  Another  of the many:"Celebrate each Mass as if it were your first and last."

Father Cha uses these keywords  on the TV program as one way to prepare the Catholics in appreciating the message of Pope Francis and understanding his popularity both within and outside the Church. Fr. Cha will eventually write a book with the 10 keywords explained.     

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