Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mature Understanding of Church


Has the Korean Church been able to accept the teachings of Vatican II? A symposium in a diocese, written up in the  Peace Weekly, doesn't think Korean Catholicism has left behind pre-Vatican II thinking, and accepted the  changes in our understanding of Church.

Words we hear often: Is it a  rupture with the past or continuity with the past?  Many have black and white thinking-- all or nothing. Why is it  difficult to see the continuity with the past, and  evolution of our  thinking on certain subjects? We do believe in   movements of the Holy Spirit  leading the Church, and yet some have difficulty in understanding that circumstances, and questions never asked before require we  formulate new ways of speaking to a humanity with different values.

In the early fifth-century, a church father, St. Vincent of Lérins is often quoted as one who saw preservation and development as a truth of life. Pope Francis is quoted  using the words of St. Vincent which speak loudly of something we have problems understanding  even today."The doctrine of the Christian religion should follow the law of progress, so that it may be consolidated by years, developed by time and made more sublime by age."  St. Vincent is also the same church father who said:“We hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by everyone."

A seminary rector during the symposium said cold-headedly, he believes the Korean Church has not accepted the thinking of the Second Vatican Council. He wants the Church to go back to the documents and begin living the teachings. For the Church to go out to the world  and preach repent, the Church has to repent, when we say: be on the side of the poor, are we merely using words? We often use the word love and often hurt others,  and  talk about communication and fail to communicate.

We need to  examine ourselves in these areas. We need to be just in our dealings within the church. We need to change our pastoral work so that the laity become active in the pastoral work: help to inclulturate the Church's teachings to Korea, help to bring about unification of North and South in our teaching, and work to bring it about.

Another presenter made known the  need to open up the way  for the lay people to work in evangelization overseas, make the need for evangelization known to the community of Catholics,  and to arouse interest in the evangelization of society and the world.  

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