Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Who is Opposed to the Pope's Visit?

One of the reasons for the quick visible  growth of the  Catholic Church in Korea  was the example
 of the the underground movement  for a free    society during the totalitarian years of army control. A second reason was the events both within and  outside the  country that became known to the larger society, especially the two visits of Pope John Paul II to Korea. These seem to have  increased the numbers of those entering the Church.

The Desk Column of the Catholic Times reviews an issue that he feels needs to be brought to the light. Most of the citizens are happy with the visit of the pope, but we do have a few in society who are opposed  and have shown this by preparing a petition. No matter, the moral justification they have for the opposition, he feels that it is a question of not  understanding Catholicism. One Internet newspaper asked that they rid themselves of their material concerns in their valuation on the visit, and suggests they show neither joy nor grief over the visit.

The opposition he feels is mostly from a small group of  Protestants. The columnist feels the majority have no problem with the visit. There are only a few with prejudice and selfish interests that motivate them, and  who consider Catholicism heretical, and continue openly to criticize the Church.

There are many  who are not opposed to the visit but have problems with certain aspects of the preparation and visit. The Pope has made it clear his desire to be with the poor but the way the Church of Korea is making preparations he wonders if there is an understanding  and a willingness to change the way we  express our understanding of Catholicism.

The pope in a few days will be with us, and the columnist has no doubts the pope  will make very clear the kind of Church he would like to see in Korea. Those who are interested in seeing what he will say only need to carefully read his exhortation Joy of the Gospels.

There is no reason to expect the popularity of the pope will see an increase in the  number of Catholics. No reason for the Protestants to fear that the Pope will be taking away Christians. He will be trying to get Catholics to understand the teachings of Jesus more clearly.

The lack of time for preparation should not be a problem. As the Vatican has stressed this is not to be considered an 'event' or even less, a marketing venture.  The visit of the pope should be for us an opportunity to give more attention to his teaching, and to see a change in our lives.