Pope Francis will receive President of the Republic of South Korea Moon Jae-in at the Vatican on Thursday, October 18, 2018, at noon, said Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, on October 9, 2018.
He added that Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin will celebrate a “Mass for Peace to ask for peace on the Korean peninsula, the day before, Wednesday, October 17, in St. Peter’s Basilica, in the presence of the South Korean President Mr. Moon Jae-in.
Greg Burke was interviewed by the press on this visit at a synod press conference on Tuesday, October 9: Is it true that the president will carry a letter from the inviting North Korean president Pope Francis?
“The president [of South Korea] must come, then we will talk about it,” said Greg Burke.
According to an October 9, 2018 report in Vatican News, Kim Eui-kyum, the spokesman of the South Korean President, while announcing the official visit of Moon to Pope Francis, specified that the president will also carry a message from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the Pope. The spokesman shared a part of Kim’s message saying that if the Pope visits Pyongyang he would accord him a warm welcome.
Pope Francis said he was praying last April for the positive outcome of the summit between Korean leaders “for the beloved Korean people and for the whole world” and he praised “the courage of the leaders”.
The Pope spoke about the “historic” summit on Friday, April 27, 2018, between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his southern counterpart, Moon Jae-in, on the dividing military dividing line. the peninsula, to Panmunjon. Kim Jong-un was the first North Korean leader to walk on South Korean soil since the Korean War (1950-1953).
“I accompany with prayer the positive outcome of last Friday’s Inter-Korean Summit and the courageous commitment of the leaders of both sides to a sincere dialogue for a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons,” said the Pope. Francis after the Marian prayer of Regina Caeli, Sunday, April 29, St. Peter’s Square, in the presence of some 30,000 pilgrims.
“I pray to the Lord that hope for a future of peace and fraternal friendship will not be disappointed and for the collaboration to continue to bear fruit for the beloved Korean people and the whole world, “added the pope who had repeatedly invited Catholics to join his prayer for the success of this dialogue, including April 25, at the Wednesday hearing. The event made the front page of the Vatican media.
“Do we really want peace? So let’s banish the weapons so that we do not have to live in fear of war, “the Pope later wrote in a tweet @Pontifex_fr.
The Vatican also welcomed the denuclearization agreement last June: “In Singapore, go with history,” headlined L’Osservatore Romano dated June 13, 2018, making its front page on the agreement between the president American Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, on the denuclearization of North Korea.
The summit, which took place on June 12, 2018, in Singapore, saw “the long-awaited handshake, which lasted more than ten seconds, with Trump who strengthened the contact by also briefly placing his left hand on the arm Kim’s right, “noted the Vatican daily.
The previous Sunday, the pope had invited the crowd – of some 20,000 pilgrims – to present at the Angelus of June 10, 2018, St. Peter’s Square, and all those who followed the Angelus live, to pray with him a ” Hail Mary “for this purpose.
And even earlier, young Korean Taekwondo athletes pleaded for the cause of peace in Korea, before Pope Francis, at the general audience on May 30, 2018. They had unfurled the banner: “A world, a Taekwondo” then this other message, in Italian: “Peace is more precious than triumph”. The pope had greeted this “message of peace for all humanity”.
“The Church has a very important role” in the process of reunification of the two Koreans, said Vatican News Bishop Alfred Xuereb, Apostolic Nuncio to Korea and Mongolia, a few days before his departure for Seoul in May latest. The Church “continues … to evangelize and to offer its contribution even at the diplomatic level to achieve the desired goals,” he added.
Before leaving, Bishop Xuereb celebrated Mass with Pope Francis at Maison Sainte-Marthe on Thursday, May 24th. The Pope assured him of his prayers and blessing for him and for the whole Church in Korea and Mongolia, where Bishop Xuereb is also a nuncio.
Finally, the secretary of the Holy See for relations with the states Bishop Paul Gallagher, went to South Korea, from July 5-9, 2018, to encourage peace and reconciliation.