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Walk in the light of the Lord.(Isaiah 2,5)

"Peace be with you." (Luke 24,36)

    Pope Francis, Servant of the Servants of God, will visit South Korea in August. This visit has great significance for both Korean Catholics and Korean society as a whole. Less than a year after his inauguration, Pope Francis chose Korea as his first pilgrimage to Asia, a decision which has humbled and brought great honor to the Korean Catholic Church.
    The Korean Catholic Church has struggled to gain its fruits of the Gospel, going through vast hardships and persecutions, which could be an inspiring exemplar for the churches of the world in trouble and despair. We believe that, for these reasons, the Lord moved Pope Francis to use Korea as a light for the world in their walks of faith. However, as parents tend to care about a child in trouble more than any others, the Pope also may have more concerns and love for Korea; including a long history of sufferings within the Korean church as well as a geopolitical position situated in the center of international conflicts.

    In his 'Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel)' Pope Francis is inviting us to go forth beyond our own church walls in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the Light of the Gospel without fear. Korea has experienced rapid economic and social development, and now is struggling with the conflicts surfacing from increased social polarization. The Church must go beyond itself to meet the world in all its joys and sorrows with the Gospel. The Korean Church is being invited to go into the world with the Gospel as the head of Asian churches, and to follow God's direction by turning the world away from the hunger for material growth and development.
    The Popes of modern times have had their pastoral aims on the peace of the world. The Korean peninsula is a dangerous threat to the peace of the world but also a hopeful prospect to bring the new era of peace. A harmony between South and North Korea is critical in order to stabilize the Korean peninsula and to bring peace to East Asia and the rest of the world. The Pope has expressed his strong desire for Korean society and Church to be the outpost for world peace.
    With Pope Francis' visiting Korea in August, the Korean church should pray unceasingly for the blessing and the work of the Holy Spirit for the peace of the world.

President, The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea
Most Rev. Peter KANG U-il