Progress Report of Preparatory Committee
for the Papal visit to Korea
The Korean Catholic Church has worked on the papal visit to Korea since the former Pope Benedict XVI’s tenure. The former Pope Benedict XVI reviewed the plan for a visit to Asia, but as he resigned in 2013 due to the reason of health and old age, it hasn’t been worked out.
When Pope Francis was inaugurated in March 2013, the plan to visit Korea during the 6th Asia Youth Day (AYD) in August 2014 held in Daejeon became real. The papal visit to Korea has been specified by Vatican and Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea at the end of 2013, and the Preparatory Committee for the Papal Visit to Korea (PCPVK, Most Rev. Peter KANG U-il, Bishop of Cheju; Chairman of the committee, Most Rev. Basil CHO Kyu-man; Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul, Commissioner of the committee) was formed. Thus the PCPVK with diocesan archbishops of each diocese (Seoul Archdiocese, DaejeonDiocese, and Cheongju Diocese) where the events are held as commissioners was formed and continuing the preparation process.
On March 10th, 2014, Vatican publically announced the papal visit to Korea. Since then, the Preparatory Committee has continued cooperation between 9 subsidiary departments and Seoul, Daejeon, Cheongju Diocese through 20 regular meetings starting from the first meeting on March 14th to last meeting on August 8th. Collaboration with Korean government began as well with the Prime Minister’s Office’s subsidiary supporting team (Hong,Yun-Sik, the first deputy department head in the Cabinet office, leader of the supporting team), their first meeting was on March 28th and 5 joint meetings followed, to closely coordinate with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Police Agency, Korean Fire Protection Agency, Presidential Security Service and etc. through Religious Affairs Office of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The preparatory committee has been discussing the itinerary with the bureau at Roman Curia in charge of papal visit directly or through the Apostolic Nunciature. In April, The preparatory committee’s liturgy and public affairs office hosted the first joint meeting with the Vatican party in Rome, and Vatican liturgy, public affairs, and guard delegation team visited Korea in June and July for final confirmation.
On June 18th the official itinerary for the papal visit was announced through the Vatican News Portal (news.va), On July 16th the details of liturgy of Masses to be celebrated in Korea by the pope (Aug.15th the Assumption Mass, Aug. 16th Beautification of 124 Korean Martyrs Mass, Aug.17th Closing Mass for Asian Youth Day, Aug. 18th Mass for Peace and Reconciliation) was finally decided through the Vatican liturgy official.
On June 20th all 351 members of The Preparation Committee from Seoul, Daejeon, and Cheongju dioceses and 9 subsidiary organizations offered the mass for the PCPVK. The preparation committee presented the certification of appointment to each member. And also selected KBS as the main Broadcaster and signed the MOU.
The preparation committee is now on the final inspection. For Beatification of 124 Korean Martyrs held in Seoul Gwanghwamun Square, the altar installation process began on the 11th (yesterday) afternoon, and from 7 p.m. on the 15th the rehearsal for the beatification mass will be held at the site.