During these months before the visit of the pope, the Catholic Church of Korea is busy with its many preparations. Before the last visit of the pope for the International Eucharistic Congress in 1989, the Desk Columnist of the Catholic Times reminds us we had four years to prepare for the visit of Pope John Paul II. Consequently, the Church is busy, not concerned with only one event, but a number of events in different dioceses. The desire to make the visit a help both spiritually and devotionally will make the preparations more difficult.
are two questions that we need to ask, he says. Why is the pope coming
to Korea and what do we need to prepare? The ceremonies for
beatification are usually held in Rome, there is no reason for them to
be in Korea. The pope does not go to the different continents for their
group youth meetings so no need for his visit to the Asian Youth
Meeting. The political reason to encourage peace and unification is not a
sufficient reason and the visit to the Flower Village is not the reason
for the visit.
are all part of the reason for the visit. Each different diocese has
the responsibility for preparing for the visit, and each will work to
develop programs to deepen the spirituality and the devotional life of
the Catholics during the visit.
is a hope that it will bring change to the way we are Catholics. This
change should be a renewal in the way of the Second Vatican Council.The second change should be to follow the teaching of Pope Francis in
his exhortation to the Church in 'Joy of the Gospel'. The
exhortation has become a best seller and we should read, study and put
its teachings into practice.
third change is not only a change in the devotional life of the
Catholics but also in the lives of the pastoral workers in the Church
and the structures. It is very meaningful for us to remember that the
changes are taking place at the very center of the Church at the
Vatican. Individuals need to be the subjects of the changes that are
necessary. To just be teachers of the Christians is not all that is
necessary, the leaders need to show us the change. The person who has
done this is Pope Francis, an example to all of us.
bishops of Korea are granting indulgences in preparation for the visit
of Pope Francis for those who will make a pilgrimage to the shrines of
the martyrs. The occasion is present for all of us to learn from the
lives of our martyrs and learn from their spirituality in preparation
for the ceremonies on August 16.