“주님의 빛 속에 걸어가자!”(이사 2,5)
Appeal by the Catholic Church in Korea for Peace on the Korean Peninsula
“Let us walk in the light of the Lord!”(Isaiah 2:5)
Faced with the crisis caused by the ever-growing tensions involving the Korean peninsula, the Korean Catholic Church has issued the following appeal:
1. We appeal to the leaders of South and North Korea.
Since the “Hwasung-14”missile test by North Korea, the Korean Peninsula is threatened with a potentially explosive crisis. The testing of nuclear weapons by North Korea constitutes a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and encourages nearby countries to likewise acquire nuclear weapons, thus threatening the peace of North-East Asia. The Catholic Church in Korea denounces strongly the recent reckless provocations by North Korea and opposes all actions which increase tensions on the Korean Peninsula and run counter to peace. Ultimately, true peace in Korea cannot be achieved with nuclear weapons. We appeal to the leaders of South and North Korea to engage in dialogue for the sake of peace and, by cooperation with the neighboring countries, to strive to provide an institutional strategy ensuring peace on the Korean peninsula.
2. We appeal to the leaders of the nations around the Korean Peninsula
Talking glibly about war, which sacrifices innocent lives, is in itself an act against humanity. A maelstrom bringing savagery and madness will cause countless deaths and mutual destruction, resulting in retrogression and scars in human history. The Catholic Church in Korea urges all countries involved in the Korean Peninsula not to offend against universal love for humanity and the spiritual and moral growth of humankind. We appeal to the leaders of the nations surrounding the Korean Peninsula, by maturely resolving the current situation in a satisfactory manner, to contribute to coexistence and peace in humanity, which is the true task of diplomacy and politics.
3. We appeal to the citizens of Korea
The proliferation of nuclear weapons is an evil that fundamentally threatens the Korean Peninsula and world peace. War will bequeath irreversible and irreparable destruction and wounds to our people. Peace on the Korean Peninsula cannot be guaranteed by acquiring nuclear weapons and strengthening the armed forces. True peace on the Korean Peninsula can only be achieved through efforts to realize justice through dialogue in pursuit of reconciliation and the common development of all people. For 'peace is the fruit of justice' (Isaiah 32:17). Our citizens have to resist the powers of evil promoting the present crisis. The two Koreas must reduce the astronomical sums they spend on the military, using the money to develop human potential, to heal suffering and promote the development of culture. We urge citizens to join with one heart in the effort to establish true justice and peace in the Korean people and the world.
4. We appeal to the Christians and all the citizens of the world
Beyond North-east Asia, peace on the Korean peninsula is like a counter-weight for global peace. The present situation on the Korean Peninsula calls for the efforts of everyone’s conscience and intellect in trying to cope with it together in solidarity and compassion, cooperation and respect. Let us not ignore this situation in indifference and silence; let us seek wisdom to solve the essence of the problem with our intellect and consciences, with ethical and critical thinking. Especially we appeal to all those who are called to be partners in God's creation and salvation. The realization of denuclearization and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula will provide a turning point for dreams of justice and love in a world where the values of all creatures are fully realized for future generations of humanity. Let us join in prayer and action to make a "swords-into-plowshares" change in the Korean peninsula and other areas of conflict. Let us join together to pray that the light of God's justice and love will defeat mutual hatred and the darkness of conflict
In particular, as peace-makers, let us Catholics of Korea ask for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin in favor of peace on the Korean Peninsula at the "Mass of the Assumption" on this coming August 15. We appeal for the attention and prayers, discernment and cooperation of our brothers and sisters across the world to resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula. The Catholic Church in Korea will pray and work with you for this.
“Lord, have mercy on us. Grant us peace. Amen.”
August 15, 2017
The 72nd Anniversary of Korea’s Independence
The Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for the Reconciliation of Korea, Most Rev. Peter Lee Ki Heon
The Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung Sik