Korea in 1975, 88.2 percent of the families had a man as the householder; the hierarchical order had the father as the center of the family. The Desk Columnist of the Catholic Time tells us that in her own family, the father was 'heaven' and the mother was his helper. This was the accepted understanding of family. When the father was the oldest son of the family, he was responsible for the care of the parents and would live with them.
After 40 years what is the situation
of Korea today? According to the office of statistics, one of four
families has a woman as the householder, about 27.9 percent of the
families. Families composed of husband and wife, almost half are both
working full time. One can't but see the noticeable difference from the
past. Postmodernism has brought in a value system and understanding
which have influenced the family life.
Institute for Health and Social Affairs reports that half of the
citizens don't have any big problems with the culture of young people
living together without marriage. A survey of 1000 men and women between the ages of 20 and 56, a total of 46.1 percent approved of the
living together without marriage. Those in their 20s, 53.1 percent and
those in their 30s, 59.2 percent saw it positively. 35.5 percent said
marriage was fine, and they had no problem with those who did not want
to marry, a matter of choice. Those that said marriage was necessary
was only 25.6 percent. 67.7 percent opposed the thinking that the
relationship with the children was more important than the husband and
Professionals in the field see a
decease in the size of families, simplification, and the increase of
those living alone. These are challenges to the Church's pastoral care
One of the dioceses in a recent marriage
seminar reported that over 2270 who had taken the pre-nuptial
programs, 8.5 percent were pregnant and 8.9 percent were living
together. 90.2 percent had been sexually intimate. The report said there was little difference in those who were Catholic and others.
5th to the 19th Pope Francis has called for the III Extraordinary
General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to treat the topic: The
Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization. "The
Church, fully aware that family life is not ultimately defined by
difficulties and that people do not have problems only, willingly
recognizes the efforts being made, primarily by young people, to bring
about a new springtime for the family."
preparatory instructions published, deal with cohabitation, divorce,
unmarried mothers, homosexual unions, and the like. Pastoral challenges
that families will be facing will be the area of concern for the Synod.
The signs of the times and the challenges that the families are
experiencing will be the areas of discussion.
conclusion, quotes a moral theologian: "Today with the societal trend
and value system that has a wrong understanding of sex, marriage and
family the Christian has the task by living according to the teachings
of the Church and at the same time carrying the cross to renew the
world." This mission of establishing Christian like families is the
work entrusted to Christians.