The reason for this special issue
The Pope’s journey to Korea seems to be unfolding broad perspectives: “The Church in Asia holds great promise”, Francis said, well aware that in Korea in recent years there has been a surge of Christianity and of participation in the life of the Church such as has not been experienced on other continents and in other countries for some time.
Since the Christian religion was brought to Korea by a group of lay intellectuals and has been rooted for centuries in an absence of clergy, surviving terrible persecutions, Korean Catholicism is still marked by the signs of an original development that is indisputably lively. It is a religion especially attractive to women. They find in the Christian culture that respect and consideration for their needs which are unknown to Korean society and so become the most convinced champions of Christianity. And it is precisely on them that we have focused our attention, aware that because of the build up of relations with the West, not only do innovations in the area of religion arrive in Korea but also all the materialistic and consumerist temptations that have stirred up secularization in our countries: the Pope’s journey therefore comes to strengthen consciences and illuminate hearts and minds so that the mistakes made in confusing modernization with compulsive consumerism are not repeated here in Korea as well. It is a battle in which women will play a lead role. (l.s.)
St. Peter’s Square
Aug. 25, 2019
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