[KS] Fw: Catholicism in N. Korea
kirkdon at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 23 05:35:56 EDT 2011
In view of recent postings about Christian churches in Pyongyang, perhaps this view of Catholicism in N. Korea will be of interest.
Just before the Korean War there were 52 Catholic parishes in the North, with some 50,000 believers in three dioceses, Pyongyang, Hamhung and Chunchon, plus a territorial abbey that was a direct subject of the Holy See. After the end of the Korean War and the resulting division of the nation, the Vatican handed over the Apostolic administration of the North Korean dioceses to bishops in South Korea.
The current Archbishop of Seoul, Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk, is the Apostolic Administrator for Pyongyang and Hamhung while Bishop Kim Un-hwi of the Chunchon diocese in South Korea is the Apostolic Administrator of Chunchon diocese in North Korea.
Over the years, requests by the South Korean Bishops for pastoral visits to the North Korean dioceses have repeatedly been denied.
Since 1988, the North Korea regime has presented Jangchung " Cathedral", the only so called Catholic church in North Korea, to outsiders as a shining example of North Korean Catholicism with hundreds of parishioners. Actually, the church has no functioning priest and no sacraments.
In April, a Seoul based North Korean defector's radio station, Free North Korea, alleged that Jangchung Church is in fact a clandestine cocaine factory where cocaine is manufactured for illegal export, to generate much needed foreign currency.
This is the current state of North Korean Catholicism.
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