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Pope asks Korean religious leaders to work for peace

Theirs is a long journey ahead which needs to be undertaken with humility and perseverance, he says

Pope asks Korean religious leaders to work for peace

Pope Francis with members of the Korean Council of Religious Leaders during their visit to the Vatican on Sept. 2. (Photo by L'Osservatore Romano)

ucanews.com reporter, Seoul
South Korea

September 7, 2017

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Pope Francis asked a group of Korean religious leaders who visited him at the Vatican to "roll up" their sleeves to work toward peace.

Pope Francis received 22 members of the Korean Council of Religious Leaders which included its president Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju, at his apostolic palace on Sept. 2.

"The world is looking to us for answers and shared commitment to various issues like the sacred dignity of human person and the rejection of violence," the pope told the Korean religious leaders.

"Therefore, as heralds of peace, we have a long journey ahead of us which must be undertaken with humility and perseverance, not just by raising our voices but by rolling up our sleeves," he said.

"We must sow the hope of a future in which humanity becomes more human, a future which heeds the cry of so many who reject war and implore greater harmony between individuals and communities, between peoples and states."

In addition, the pope stressed the interreligious dialogue to cope with the violence.

"Because interreligious dialogue consists of contacts, encounters and cooperation, it is an endeavor that is precious and pleasing to God, a challenge directed toward the common good and peace," he said.

Archbishop Kim, also president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, conveyed a letter signed by heads of seven major religions in Korea and asked the pope to pray for peace on the Korean peninsula.

Through the letter, Arcbishop Kim said, Korea is a divided country and "Koreans are living under the threat of war from the superpowers surrounding the two Koreas. We ask the pope to pray for the change of situation on the Korean peninsula."

The Korean Council of Religious Leaders comprises leaders from seven major religions in Korea and includes Buddhists, Catholics, Confucians and Protestants as well as those from an association of Korean traditional religions, Chondogyo and Won Buddhism.

The council pilgrimage Aug. 31-Sept. 5 to Italy was made for its participants to better understand Catholicism.

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