Monday, September 7, 2015

Renewal of Priests in the Seoul Diocese

Priests of Seoul gathered in their fourth meeting after the visit of Pope Francis to Korea last year. The topic of this meeting was how to move from a quantitative to a qualitative growth. The bishop in attendance reminded the participants that they were discussing for the whole diocese. The discussion was written up in the Catholic Times.

In attendance were about twenty priests. The results  were not open to the public but with groupware programs, the priests of the diocese would be notified of the results. The inaugural talk  dealt with the renewal of the priests of the diocese. "From the year 1980, we have heard requests for the renewal within the church and at the center was the renewal of  priests." He explained this was saying  we  were not living up to our calling.

The priest took 7 points of renewal from Pope Francis' Joy of the Gospel.

*Does the Seoul Diocese have the will to renew?

* Do we have the will to see the decentralization of authority to the different zones in the diocese?

* Are the diocese and parishes willing to make the poor the central dimension of the work?

* Do we know the structural reasons for poverty, and have the courage and energy to work to improve the situation?  Do we have the willingness to get involved with the Social Gospel?

*Do we have a plan for our own renewal?

* Specialization for city work.

*Improve the place of women within the church.

The priest presenter stressed the most important of these seven was the renewal of priests and programs to implement what is decided.  He would like to see a committee established with clergy, religious, and laypeople present, and religious and lay people in the decision making.

This requires the solidarity of priests and the need to make decisions known to all-- a (manifesto). Study of Scripture, Church documents, and study in small groups would be required for our development. He would like to  see all the clergy tithing; with the best of intentions the renewal, if we take it seriously, will  have results after 10 or 20 years.

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