Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seoul and Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang, celebrated a special "Mass for peace and reconciliation" in the Cathedral of Myeongdong, in Seoul, to pray for the prompt application of the agreement between the United States and North Korea, fruit of the US-North Korea summit which was held in Singapore. As Agenzia Fides learns, the special Eucharist, which was also attended by Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, new Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, was celebrated with the special intention of praying for peace on the Korean peninsula. As the Communications Office of the Archdiocese reports to Agenzia Fides, the Catholic community in Seoul wanted to meet to pray for world peace, through the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and to invoke freedom of religion in North Korea.
The Mass, celebrated yesterday 12 June, was the 1168th "Mass for peace and reconciliation", celebrated to invoke a sincere reconciliation between South and South Korea. That of celebrating a special Eucharist with this intention of prayer is, in fact, a custom initiated in March 1995 by the "Committee for the Reconciliation of Korea" and which, since then, is respected every Tuesday evening at the Cathedral of Myeongdong in Seoul.
Given the growing expectations for reconciliation between North Korea and South Korea in recent days, Cardinal Yeom encouraged people to pray for peace in Korea, recalling the recent April 24 mass dedicated to the success of the inter-Korean summit.
As reported to Fides, in his homily, Cardinal Yeom said: "When I learned that there was a significant agreement between the two leaders in their first meeting, I deeply thanked God because he listened to our prayers for reconciliation of the Korean people. I sincerely desire that the agreement can be implemented promptly in order to achieve the common good not only for the Koreans, but for all the people in the world".
The "Mass for Peace and Reconciliation", announced on March 7, 1995 by the then Archbishop of Seoul, Cardinal Kim Su-hwan, is celebrated every Tuesday in the cathedral of Myeongdong. After Mass, those present recite the "Prayer for Peace" by St. Francis of Assisi, together with the faithful gathered, at the same time, in Jangchung Cathedral in Pyongyang. The decision to pray the "Prayer for Peace" of St. Francis of Assisi together, in the South and in the North, was taken on August 15, 1995 in agreement between the Committee for Reconciliation of the Korean People (an expression of the Church in the South) and the "Catholic Association of Chosun", official Catholic organization in North Korea. Since then the Korean faithful, gathered in prayer at the same time, in the North and South, raise their voices to God together, and invoke mercy, reconciliation and peace. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 13/6/2018)