Korea, the Pope to receive President Moon and an invitation to Pyongyang

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Korea, the Pope to receive President Moon and an invitation to Pyongyang

By Paolo Affatato/ lastampa.it

Pope Francis looks to the East and on October 18 he’s scheduled to receive in audience the president of South Korea, the Catholic Moon Jae-In, who will stop in the Vatican during his European tour. As the spokesman for the “Blue House” – his institutional headquarters in Seoul - reports, President Moon will inform Francis that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during the third North-South summit last September, has invited the Pontiff to visit Pyongyang saying he was ready “to welcome him ardently”.

Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for the South Korean presidency, in a briefing with the media on the European journey, reported that Moon will deliver “this message” to the Pope, and then ask for the blessing and support for peace and stability in the Korean peninsula.

As a note from the Press Office of the Holy See informs us, the day before the audience, on 17 October, Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, will preside over a special “Mass for Peace” for the Korean peninsula in St Peter’s Basilica, in which President Moon himself will participate.

While the process of rapprochement and reconciliation between North and South Korea is making great strides, the Holy See does not fail to offer its contribution, in a historical phase for the pacification of the peninsula.

The news of the meeting between the Pope and Moon, and also that of the possible visit to Pyongyang, has generated enthusiasm among the faithful in South Korea.

Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, head of the diocese of Daejeon and head of the “Commission for Society” in the Episcopal Conference, told Vatican Insider that “in Korea we are living a kairòs, a moment of grace, an important time”, and recalled that, “Two years ago our government changed. President Moon did everything to avoid the war in Korea and strongly believed in a change, amid general skepticism. Now we see that the peace process is moving forward and we hope that it will soon come about”.

According to Augustine Han, priest of Daejeon, “this is another positive sign on the path of peace between North and South: I believe that at this point, the path of rapprochement is irreversible”. A conviction and a feeling, this, that is making its way into Korean society.

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 13:51
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