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Curial cardinal challenges Korean bishops to ‘missionary bravery’

October 03, 2013

Visiting South Korea to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Diocese of Suwon’s creation, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples addressed the nation’s bishops and challenged them to engage in “missionary bravery,” the Fides news service reported.

Cardinal Fernando Filoni recalled the remarkable growth of the Church in South Korea:

In 1949, the Catholic population of Korea was calculated to be about 1.1% with just 81 priests and 46 parishes; immediately after the Second Vatican Council, it was at 2.5%. Fifty years after this, Catholics number 10.3%, with more than 4,600 priests and more than 10,000 men and women religious … I want to show my deepest appreciation for the missionary spirit of the Church in Korea, not only ad intra, but also ad extra; it is a fact that there are hundreds of missionaries present in 80 countries who respond generously to their yearning for the evangelization of the world. Thank you, dear brothers!

“Take account neither of the prestige that the Church enjoys in your country, nor of the statistics about which we may read,” he added. “There is much more to do, and there is a need for intelligence and missionary bravery.”


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