Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Korean Bishops' Autumn Meeting

The recent Catholic news and editorials have taken into account the results of the Autumn General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops. Clearly and unambiguously the  bishops have opted for change, and shown a strong will for renewal that will begin with the bishops. They will leave behind luxury, stress a pastoral approach, 'go in search' and work to communicate and collaborate to make a Church for the poor.

One of the changes, different from the past, was an approach to problems that came from below, and not from above. The bishops worked with the results of  what the church members wanted to see changed, and the bishops agreed to be the first to change. They will approach problems with their actions more than words, in the manner of Pope Francis. One of the editorials are waiting to see how the bishops will be an example to the Church.

A survey by the bishops was distributed by e-mail, and on the bishops' homepage. +During Pope Francis' visit the  most memorable scene. +Words that  moved you the most in his talks. +The word that comes to mind when you think of Pope Francis. +After the visit of the pope the greatest need for     change. +What the members have to change.

The scene that moved many viewers was the pope's easy interactions with those he met, and the way he related with parents of the Sewol tragedy.The words 'sympathy' and 'communication' stayed with many. In the pope's talks his reference to 'remember and have hope' were meaningful. 'A poor church', and 'before suffering there is no neutrality' were mentioned. The 'comfortable' life of the religious hurts the Church was mentioned by many.

The prominent issue,receiving the  most interest was becoming a poor church where the poor would feel at home. The community of the faithful wanted to see changes in the  bishops'  manner of dialoguing and communication. They pointed out  a lack of vision and leadership, authoritarianism and self righteousness, and wanted a commitment to the  Social Gospel.

Clericalism and self righteousness of the priest was  mentioned by both groups as the biggest issue with the clergy. Also mentioned was a lack of spirituality and a prayer life, a wealthy and comfortable life style, hobbies that are luxurious, and working only with the wealthy. 

Religious have a need for  prayer and spirituality.  Narrow mindedness and a one way approach to problems were listed.

Laypeople were seen to  lack a prayer life  and spirituality. Lack of participation in the Social Gospel of the Church, factionalism and problems with getting along with neighbors were listed.  

The whole Church needs to be more conscious of the poor and become a Church of the poor. One of the editorials wrote we have become a middle class Church where the poor do not feel welcomed and all the members need to work in changing the image      with the  bishops out in front with renewal.                                                    

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