Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Renewal of Church in Korea

A Religious Sister who heads a research center, and lectures at a university, hopes the the visit of the pope to Korea will be the start for  changes in the Korean Church. She mentions the questionnaire that preceded the visit of the pope sponsored by the Catholic Times  and was commented on frequently in the Catholic press. Hopefully, she says, the questionnaire will be  the basis for future plans. She gives us her ideas on the opinion page of the Catholic Times.

The issues that came to the fore were  clericalism, worldliness of the Church, formation of a middle class Church, an immature laity, were some of the points mentioned. The issues for renewal  were comprehensive. She compares the issues to a cogwheel in which  all are related and interact with one another.

She uses the  example of a university professor who mentions that global life is made up of individual life and  other co-life. A tree to live needs, the sun, air, wind, water, earth, likewise, we as a Church need each other to function as Church.

The questionnaire showed that the number one obstacle to renewal was authoritarianism and clericalism within the Church and this was one of the  reasons for the immaturity of the laity. The authoritarianism of the clergy is the  reason for the passivity and dependence of the laity. She mentions the need to form the  laity to take an active part in the running of  parishes. She hopes that this will be the results of renewal, but she still has in her thinking some serious doubts, and why should this be? She asks.  She feels that the problem is not something outside of us but in ourselves. The clergy are going to have to examine themselves, they are the ones who need to come to a new understanding of their role. Without this examination the renewal will have difficulty. 

She mentions a Jesuit priest who worked  for the poor and lived with them.  He  died recently and she attended the funeral.The Church was filled. He was a cleric who lived with the poor and gave up all his authority and received authority by the way he lived. 
The Sister mentions she saw where the real authority of the priests comes.

 "When one walks in the fog,unknowingly, your clothes become damp." These words are handed down in Buddhism and was the title of her article. She hopes that there will be many priest who will want to work towards the ideal that they have received from their training. At ordination the young priests lie prostrate in front of the altar. She hopes that the priest will be conscious of what this signifies and prays that they will live this promise effectively in their lives.

She remembers well the smiling face of Pope Francis during his visit to Korea and the way he reacted with all those that he met. She hopes that we will have many pastors in the Church  with this smile on their faces.

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