Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung celebrated Mass for Catholic members of South Korea's National Assembly on July 10, 2020. Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung celebrated Mass for Catholic members of South Korea's National Assembly on July 10, 2020. 

Cardinal invites Korea’s Catholic congressmen to work for life and peace

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, celebrated Mass for Catholic congressmen of South Korea at the National Assembly on Thursday.

By Vatican News

South Korea’s Catholic congressmen have been invited to care for the poor and weak and commit themselves to a form of politics that serves peace and defends life. 

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, made the call on Thursday at a Mass he celebrated for Catholic congressmen from across all political parties of South Korea. 

Invited by the cross-party National Assembly Group of Catholics, the cardinal visited the National Assembly in the capital Seoul, to offer a Mass for the Catholic members of the newly-elected 21st National Assembly of South Korea.

Forty-three Catholic congressmen, as well as some staff members of the national legislature, attended the Mass presided over by Cardinal Yeom along with nine priests. 

In his homily, the 76-year old cardinal reflected on the turmoil caused by Covid-19 saying, “we once again realize that we are all vulnerable and helpless.”

He cited amply from the “Urbi et Orbi” reflection that Pope Francis delivered during the special moment of prayer he organized in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square on March 27, for an end to the pandemic against which countries were desperately fighting amid an alarming surge of infections and deaths.

“In this world, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything,” the Pope said at the event.  “Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet.”

Recalling the Holy Father who in his message for the 2019 World Day of Peace, described politics as an “outstanding form of charity”, Cardinal Yeom urged the Catholic congressmen to care for the poor and the weak.  He underscored the Church’s commitment to life and urged the lawmakers to commit themselves to uphold the values of life and enable peaceful coexistence among all. 

After the Mass, Cardinal Yeom met the speaker of the National Assembly, Park Byeong-seug.  He expressed hope that all the members of the National Assembly will ease the hearts of people by forgiving and harmonizing with one another and become more united during times of trial. 

Park noted that the pandemic has made the life of socially vulnerable groups more difficult.  He thanked the cardinal for ensuring the safety of Catholics by holding Masses and other services online.   

Cardinal Yeom expressed hope that Catholic congressmen will be united among themselves to help the National Assembly work in unity.  

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10 July 2020, 17:13