south korea

South Korean bishop hopes Winter Olympics are steppingstone to peace

The sun rose Jan. 30 over the rings of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on a beach in Gangneung, South Korea. The Olympics begin Feb. 9.

SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean bishop wants the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to be a steppingstone for achieving peace in the region, reported ucanews.com.

Bishop Peter Lee Ki-heon, president of the Korean bishops' Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, released a statement hoping "the Olympics, feast of peace, will be a turning point to reduce the uneasiness and to settle peace on the peninsula."

North Korea is sending a large team of athletes and an art company to the Olympics, which start Feb. 9.

Charity, forgiveness keys to Korean reunification, says pope

Pope Francis posed for a selfie while eating lunch with youth at the major seminary in Daejeon, South Korea, Aug. 15. About 6,000 young people said they felt inspired after Pope Francis said he would stay beyond the allotted time so he could answer young people’s questions. To wild cheers, the pope asked the young people whether they were ready to be God’s witnesses. “Are you ready to say yes? Are you ready?” he asked. The crowd screamed, “Yes!”

SEOUL, South Korea -- Pope Francis told Korean Catholics that the reunification of their divided peninsula as well as the harmony of South Korean society depend on the practice of Gospel virtues, especially charity and forgiveness.

God's promise to restore unity and prosperity to "a people dispersed by disaster and division ... is inseparably tied to a command: the command to return to God and wholeheartedly obey his law," Pope Francis said.

Pope tells Asians to witness to Christ in all aspects of life

Pope Francis used incense as he celebrates the closing Mass of the sixth Asian Youth Day at Haemi Castle in Haemi, South Korea, Aug. 17.

SEOSAN, South Korea -- Pope Francis told young Asian Catholic leaders to witness to Christ in everything they do.

During his homily on the muddy grounds of Haemi Fortress, Pope Francis urged more than 40,000 people -- including young Catholic leaders from 22 Asian countries -- to "reflect God's love." He reminded them it was their "right and duty to take part in the life of (their) societies."

Asian youth inspired after pope spends extra time with them

DANGJIN, South Korea — About 6,000 young people from 30 Asian countries had Pope Francis all to themselves for several hours Aug. 15.

The youths said they felt inspired after Pope Francis went off script to answer questions from pre-selected participants, watched a re-enactment of a modern-day prodigal son and also sat down to lunch with a small group at the Asian Youth Day conference in the Daejeon Diocese.

Pope moves 124 Korean martyrs closer to sainthood

SEOUL, South Korea — Pope Francis placed 124 Korean martyrs on the last step toward sainthood in a beatification Mass Aug. 16 that brought elation to the 800,000 people in attendance.

The sun was searing as Bishop Francis Ahn Myong-ok of Masan, president of the commission for the beatification, asked the pope to pronounce the martyrs blessed. After hearing a brief collective biography of 124 of the original founders of the Korean Catholic Church, Pope Francis pronounced the formula of beatification.

In South Korea, pope calls for peace, democracy and social justice

Pope Francis greeted people as he arrives in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 14. The pope will beatify Korean martyrs and participate in the sixth Asian Youth Day during his five-day visit to South Korea.

SEOUL, South Korea -- Starting his first visit to Asia, Pope Francis urged South Korean political and civic leaders to seek peace on their divided peninsula and strengthen their nation's commitment to democracy and social justice.

"Peace is not simply the absence of war, but the work of justice," the pope said Aug. 14 in a speech at Seoul's Blue House, the official residence of President Park Geun-hye.

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