2010-09-14 11:24
Congress of Asian Catholic Laity

Congress of Asian Catholic Laity


The Congress of Asian Catholic Laity, held from August 31 to September 5, 2010 in Seoul, was closed with the solemn Mass. About 400 of the laity and the representatives of apostolate organizations from eighteen countries participated in the congress.

The message sent to 120 million laity around Asia by the participants of this Congress said that we, Asians, do not feel any sense of inferiority or fear because of the fact that we are minority in the world. It also urged the faithful to live a life of the courageous witness of the Gospel as Jesus Christ is our best gift for the people of Asia.

During the congress, there were presentations and discussions with the theme, "Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia Today".

Especially, the participants tried hard to find ways to overcome the dismal reality of the religious freedom and the poverty destroying the dignity of human, which is occurring in 32 out of 52 Asian nations.

H.E. Staisław Cardinal Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, emphasized that the hope for the Asian Christian is the very laity, so they should step forward spreading the hope of Jesus in this continent. He also said in his message, "In union of mind and heart with their Pastors, and accompanied at every step of their journey of faith by a sound spiritual and catechetical formation, they need to be encouraged to cooperate actively not only in building up their local Christian communities but also in making new pathways for the Gospel in every sector of society."

H.E. Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul, said in his homily at the closing Mass that the best way to proclaim Jesus Christ is to bear witness to Him and the effective way to bear witness to Him is to follow Him taking up his or her cross in everyday life. Cardinal Cheong encouraged the laity to act as witnesses of Christ and to become a new apostle.

The participants had an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Jeoldusan Martyrs' Shrine and attended at the event of "Soiree of Korea" where they could see the development of Catholic Church in Korea and experience the Korean traditional culture. They were impressed by dynamic activities of Korean laity and also expected the Catholic Church in Korea to take the initiative in proclaiming Gospel in Asia.