Saturday, October 24, 2015
Church Preparation for the Third Millennium
A recent symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of the II Vatican Council was on the direction the church of Korea should go during this third millennium. Both Catholic papers reported on the event. The keywords were solidarity, scripture and evangelization.
During the introductory speech, a bishop of Seoul mentioned the Church's mission to work for peaceful unification of the North and South. This effort has to be with the young people and the need for concern with the evangelization of China and Asia.
Our work, said one of the three participants, is to bring life to others: evangelization that is both integral and collaborative and using words different than those used in the past. He also stressed we have to customize our teaching to a one and one basis both in the confessional and in counseling. We have to study the way the Spirit has been leading us as a Church.
Another participant mentioned how after the Council, there was a new interest in scripture, with translations and a growing interest in the reading of scripture. We saw the fostering of scripture groups, organizations for its study, use of the scriptures in parish teaching. We have a course in the seminaries as a master's degree course approved by Rome, which is preparing teachers of scripture.
Another made clear that evangelization is not just increasing the numbers of our Christians but to evangelize the culture, values, and the way we live, in harmony with Gospel values.
Korean Catholics have been very passive in their vision for evangelization. In a recent Gallup poll, Catholics showed a lack of conviction of the four truths of faith: Existence of God, Incarnation, Trinity and Good and Evil. The priest feels a lack of knowledge is the reason there is so much dissatisfaction with established religion, and people are looking in other directions: new age and 'kispirit training movements' and the like.
What is necessary is a correct understanding of God and Man, reconciliation with nature, a mature value system, extending the community of love, strengthening the image of Catholicism, service to society, and fostering a mission spirit.