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Pope praises Korean growth, reminds envoy of need to serve the poor

Catholic World News - October 21, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to the energy and initiative that had fueled “remarkable economic growth” in Korea, but cautioned that the country must be mindful of those who are in need, as he met on October 21 with a new ambassador from Korea to the Holy See.

The Pope reminded the ambassador, Han Hong-soon, that during a recent visit to Rome the country’s President Lee Myung-bak had acknowledged the danger that a country engaged in rapid economic growth can “all too easily bypass ethical considerations” and neglect the poor. The Pope affirmed the need to pursue economic justice for all, particularly during the current financial difficulties.

The Pope assured the Korean envoy that the Catholic Church will be a partner in this effort since the Church “seeks to assist the poor and the needy, particularly refugees and migrant workers who so often find themselves on the margins of society.” Because of that aim, the Pontiff added, the Church makes “an unambiguous commitment to defend human life at every stage from conception to natural death, to promote stable family life in accordance with the norms of the natural law and to build peace and justice wherever there is conflict.”

Pope Benedict reminded his guest that the Church in Korea was built not simply by foreign missionaries but by native saints, including the hundreds of Catholic martyrs who sacrificed their lives to build up the faith.

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