The Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea, Holding a Seminar of ‘Jubilee of Mercy’
On the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, the Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea (Director: Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il) held a seminar with the theme, “the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and the Pastoral Direction of the Catholic Church in Korea”, at the Catholic Conference of Korea on November 5, 2015.
At the seminar, the issue was strongly raised that the Catholic Church in Korea should exert all her strength to renew herself as accepting that mercy is the request of our time to change her pastoral paradigm because the Jubilee Year of Mercy is an extension of the new explanation of the Second Vatican Council. Also, it was mentioned that the intention of this Jubilee is not simply to promote charitable activities for the poor, but for the Church to be the face of the Father’s mercy, the core of the Gospel.
Rev. Msgr. John the Baptist Shim Sang Tae (Director of the Korean Christian Thought Institute), the first speaker, said that the pastoral intention of Pope Francis is to realize the mercy of God in our time inspired by the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. He regretted that theology has not fully addressed the mercy of God as the theme of theological reflection. In addition, he said that it is a theological and pastoral priority to rediscover the theological significance of God’s mercy on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. He encouraged the Catholic Church in Korea to actively play a pivotal role in the task of ‘the new evangelization’, so that she practically enables people to live the way of mercy for the suffering and poor, in response to the intention of Pope and the Universal Church.
Rev. Andrea Park Dong-ho (Director of the Justice & Peace Committee of Seoul Archdiocese), the second speaker, summarized the Bull Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Misericordiae Vultus. He suggested the following to the Catholic Church in Korea: to focus more on pastoral care: to change her pastoral paradigm in discerning the signs of the time; to embrace the socially disadvantaged and to pursue the common good and peace; to put more prophetic effort into improving political, economic and cultural structures; to revive the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.
Rev. Joseph Park Sun-yong (Pastor of Jeongneung 4dong Parish), one of the commenters, said that the Church of Mercy is not an administrative and bureaucratic organization, but a pastoral Church where God’s people can share their joy and sorrow with each other. He hoped that the Catholic Church in Korea will deliberate on preferential options to make concrete plans to renew and change into ‘the Church of Mercy’.
Rev. Bartholomew Jun Won, Assistant Director of the Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea, said, “the Jubilee of Mercy includes interior renewal of the Church and its social mission. Mercy is our efforts to discern and improve our present situation such as the suffering of the poor, the prevalent corruption of our society, clericalism in the Church, the lay faithful pursuing secularized values, and the marginalized in the Church.”