South Korea Invites Pope to Visit

SEOUL, South Korea, MAY 1, 2005 (Zenit.org).- An official delegate of South Korea invited Benedict XVI to visit the Asian country, an invitation the new Pope responded to with a warm smile, reported Fides news agency.

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After the Mass at the April 24 inauguration of the pontificate, South Korea’s minister of culture and tourism, Roberto Chung Dong-chae, greeted the Pope personally and congratulated him on behalf of President Roh Moo-hyum and the nation.

The minister invited the Holy Father to visit South Korea assuring him «this is the desire of the Church in Korea and all the people.»

News of the Pope’s election also reached North Korea, despite strict control on information and limited religious freedom, reported Fides.

The small Catholic Association of North Korea, which is controlled by the government and has no resident priest, sent a message of congratulations and affection to Benedict XVI: «We offer warmest congratulations to His Holiness Benedict XVI, in the grace of God and profound faith of the Catholic Church. We are confident that as Supreme Pontiff he will promote love, peace and justice.»

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