The 7th National Conference of Basic Ecclesial Communities
The Sub-Committee for Basic Ecclesial Communities of the CBCK held the 7th National Conference of Basic Ecclesial Communities at St. John Hasang Education Center in Daejeon on May 23-25 and June 2-4 respectively and issued a final declaration. This conference was the first official event on the level of the Catholic Church in Korea in the history of the Basic Ecclesial Communities. Up to this conference, it had been an event which was managed by the National Conference of the Pastoral Care for the Basic Ecclesial Communities.
With the theme "Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?" (Lk 24,32) priests, religious and the laity from 15 dioceses had a time for seminars, presentations, and communion to reflect on the past activities and the way of further invigoration of Basic Ecclesial Communities.
Along with the Most Rev. Paul Choi Deok-ki, Bishop of Suwon and President of the Committee, 300 participants confirmed their resolution as follows:
- to witness the Lord with a love for neighbor practicing the Mystery of Eucharist in everyday life.
- to make the Basic Ecclesial Communities as the better communities of the culture of life and love against the culture of death.
- to make the Basic Ecclesial Communities as the open communities for all age groups from children to the elderly.
- to have an intensive exchange between communities promoting experience sharing and Bible study.
- to present the vision of the Basic Ecclesial Communities to all dioceses and parishes in solidarity with the Churches in Asia.
In an interview with the Peace Times Weekly, Bishop Choi said, "the Basic Ecclesial Communities are not an option but a necessity," pointing out that "this year's conference was promoted to a higher status as an official event of the Catholic Church in Korea for the first time." Then he asserted that the Basic Ecclesial Communities should not be a movement, which might fluctuate with the time. Then he said, "The Basic Ecclesial Communities make the faithful not only hold to their faith in the modern society ridden by materialism and individualism, but also practice a true Christian life in the midst of this world, leading their faith to everyday life."
The 8th Catholic Forum
The Catholic Journalist Club of Korea held the 8th Catholic Forum under the auspices of the Committee for Social Communications of the CBCK.
With the theme "Inheritance of poverty: how to stop it," Dr. Shin Myeong-ho, Executive Director of the Korea Center for City and Environment Research, and Dr. Shin Kyang-young, Professor of the Department of Sociology at Jungang University, presented their papers with the themes "The Problem of the Disparity of Scholastic Achievement according to Social Stratum" and "The Inheritance of Poverty and Social Polity - Centering around the Western Examples" in order, followed by panel discussion.
Dr. Shin Myeong-ho asserted that it was unanimously concluded that the academic achievement of the students from poor family was relatively bad. He suggested following measures to stop the vicious circle of poverty:
- to provide a better educational environment to the children of poor family.
- to provide an effective educational guidance suitable for the children of poor family.
- to provide proper means of living and house to the poor family.
Besides, Prof. Shin Kyang-young asserted that the poverty in childhood negatively affected the economic activities of the children in their entire life. Then he said that the countries in Europe regard social welfare policy as an 'investment' [for the future], so that it might be needed to see our social welfare policy in a new light.