Pope To South Korean Bishops: Youth Are 'Partners' in Building a More Missionary Church

During Ad Limina Visit, Pope Reflects on His Apostolic Visit to Their Nation

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In the wake of his Apostolic Visit to South Korea this August, Pope Francis has reminded South Korean bishops they are to serve their young and their people.

When speaking to the episcopal conference of Korea’s bishops in the Vatican this morning, the Pope began by saying their presence today brings to mind fond memories of his recent visit to Korea, where he felt so welcomed.

“My visit to your country will remain a lasting encouragement for me in my ministry to the Universal Church,” he told the bishops who are in Rome for their ad limina visit.

Francis said he wished to continue the reflection on the Church in South Korea, and its service to the people. He highlighted three aspects of his visit: memory, youth and the mission of confirming our brothers and sisters in the faith.

The Pope recalled “one of the most beautiful moments” of his visit: the beatification of the martyrs Paul Yun Ji-chung and companions. “Even before their faith found full expression in the sacramental life of the Church, these first Korean Christians not only fostered their personal relationship with Jesus, but brought him to others, regardless of class or social standing, and dwelt in a community of faith and charity like the first disciples of the Lord,” he said.

«They were willing to make great sacrifices and let themselves be stripped of whatever kept them from Christ,» he praised, noting, «Christ alone was their true treasure,» he praised.

«How important it is, then, that you work together with priests, religious, and lay leaders of your dioceses, to ensure that parishes, schools and centers of apostolate are authentic places of encounter.»

When we encounter Jesus and experience his compassion for us, he said, “we become ever more convincing witnesses of his saving power; we more readily share our love for him and the gifts with which we have been blessed. We become a living sacrifice, devoted to God and one another in love.”

Regarding youth, Francis recalled the joy in which he was welcomed by the nation’s young people, especially at the 6th Asian Youth Day. “Just as the witness of the first Christians calls us to care for one another,” he said, “so our youth challenge us to hear one another.”

“The young very quickly will call us and the Church to task if our lives do not mirror our faith,” Francis warned. “Their honesty in this regard can be a help to us, just as we seek to assist the faithful to manifest the faith in their daily lives.”

See the youth, the Holy Father said, «as partners in ‘building a holier, more missionary and humble Church.’”

Speaking on the mission of confirming others in the faith, the Pope said, «Your collaboration and fraternal support will strengthen the Church in Korea and Mongolia and become ever more effective in proclaiming Christ.»

«May you also be close to your priests: be true fathers, who seek not only to exhort and correct, but even more to accompany them in their difficulties and joys.»

Pope Francis concluded his address by entrusting them to Mary’s care and imparting his Apostolic Blessing.


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-address-to-bishops-of-south-korea

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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