Mission World - June 2021

Korean Catholics join Pope's vaccine-sharing campaign

Cardinal Yeom calls for the faithful to lend a helping hand to those living in poverty.

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung. Photo: Archdiocese of Seoul

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung. Photo: Archdiocese of Seoul

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Seoul and other parts of South Korea have expressed solidarity with Pope Francis’ appeal for a vaccine-sharing campaign for poor countries that are unable to get life-saving COVID-19 vaccines.

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, has urged the faithful to participate in a fund that will be sent to the Vatican to help people in lower-income countries to have access to vaccines, stated a press release from the archdiocese.

Cardinal Yeom made the appeal during his homily in Seoul Cathedral on Easter Sunday. The campaign is open to anyone and will run until November 27, the last day of the Jubilee of the 200th anniversary of the birth of St Andrew Kim Tae-gon, the first native Catholic priest and patron saint of Korea.

“His Holiness Pope Francis has called several times for universal access to vaccines. He urged the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries,” Cardinal Yeom said. The prelate also said that in solidarity with Pope Francis, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) has decided to launch a vaccine-sharing campaign to support the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly to the world’s poor countries.

The social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for those who live in poverty

“We are living through difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for those who live in poverty. It is the weak and the poor suffering the most when a crisis hits. Therefore, I would like to turn this crisis into an opportunity to show our solidarity with parishes, organizations, congregations around the world and lend a helping hand to those in need,” Cardinal Yeom added.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of Seoul and Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation will run a telephone fundraising event to raise money for the campaign while making a theme song and a music video to inform and inspire people across the country. South Korea has a population of about 51.8 million. According to Pew Research Centre, about 46 per cent of South Koreans are non-religious, 29 per cent Christians and 23 per cent Buddhists. About 11 per cent of the population or about 5.6 million are Catholics.

Linda Bordoni, Vatican News, www.vaticannews.va, March 21, 2021

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Mission Intention for June 2021

Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience.

We ask your prayers:

The prayers of our readers are requested for the repose of the souls of friends and benefactors of the Missionary Society of St Columban who died recently and for the spiritual and the temporal welfare of all our readers, their families and friends.

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