In Korea, Religious Ask for Better Formation

SEOUL, South Korea, DEC. 10, 2002 ( Men and women religious of Korea are asking for better formation, both academic as well as spiritual.

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Superiors of men’s and women’s congregations met for the first time in Korea. A total of 50 women religious of 48 congregations and 30 men religious of 29 institutes gathered in St. Francis Education Center last week, the Fides missionary agency reported.

The group reflected on, among other things, the role of religious and the way they are perceived by the laity.

In addition to suggestions for the improved academic formation of religious, many superiors requested an Internet site to present the religious life to young people.

The participants also stated that all religious are in need of frequent «courses of spirituality» to be able to answer the laity’s spiritual concerns.

According to a researcher of the Institute of Theology for the Laity, many lay people have lost respect for religious because they do not live in poverty, exercise self-control, or obey a rule of life, all of which constitute the foundation of a religious vocation.

Church data in Korea show there are 8,455 women religious of 95 congregations, and 1,231 men religious of 41 congregations.

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