Church should 'face up to reality'
Archbishop opens archdiocesan synod with call to understand today's world
Three representative delegates to Daegu archdiocesan synod are greeted by participants at the opening Mass
The Church should face up to the present situation that young people turn away from it and 'non-practising Catholics' are on the increase, the archbishop of Daegu in South Korea stressed when he opened his archdiocesan synod on April 8. Archbishop Thaddeus Cho Hwan-kil argued that through the synod, the local Church should look for a paradigm for evangelization, striving to keep pace with rapid changes in society. Announcing the opening of the archdiocesan synod, Archbishop Cho said: "A synod is not just a meeting. We should make it an opportunity to understand God's will in these times and renew ourselves." Deagu archdiocese started the second synod to mark its 100th anniversary this year. The first was from 1997 to 1999. The opening mass at Kyesan Cathedral was presided over by Archbishop Cho and concelebrated by retired Archbishop Paul Ri Moun-hi of Daegu, Bishop John Chrisostom Kwon Hyeok-ju of Andong, retired Bishop René Marie Albert Dupont of Andong, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Son Sam-seok of Pusan and Benedictine Abbot Simon Petro Ri Hyeong-u. Bishop Dupont in his congratulatory speech asked the Church to listen to the voice of laity for the success of the synod. After opening the synod, Archbishop Cho gave his appointment certificates to three representatives of 450 synod delegates, including Father Pio Lee Gi-su representing 108 priest delegates, Sister Lucia Jang representing 38 Religious delegates and John Kwon Jae-woo representing 304 lay delegates. The synod, with the theme 'The New Evangelization and the Fulfillment of a Mature Church Community', will decide the final recommendations through several general assemblies beginning on June 12. Daegu archdiocese was established as an apostolic vicariate in 1911 and elevated to an archdiocese in 1962. KO13924.1649