Updated: April 15, 2021 02:49 PM GMT
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung wants to turn the crisis into an opportunity. (Photo: Archdiocese of Seoul)
Catholics in the Archdiocese of Seoul and other parts of South Korea have expressed solidarity with Pope Francis’ appeal for a vaccine-sharing campaign for poor countries that are unable to get life-saving Covid-19 vaccines.
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul, has urged the faithful to participate in a fund that will be sent to the Vatican to help people in lower-income countries to have access to vaccines, stated a press release from the archdiocese.
Cardinal Yeom made the appeal during his homily in Seoul Cathedral on Easter Sunday.
The campaign is open to anyone and will run until Nov. 27, the last day of the Jubilee of the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, the first native Catholic priest and patron saint of Korea.
“His Holiness Pope Francis has called several times for universal access to vaccines. He urged the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries,” Cardinal Yeom said.
The prelate also said that, in solidarity with Pope Francis, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) has decided to launch a vaccine-sharing campaign to support the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, particularly to the world’s poor countries.
The social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for those who live in poverty
“We are living through difficult times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for those who live in poverty. It is the weak and the poor suffering the most when a crisis hits. Therefore, I would like to turn this crisis into an opportunity to show our solidarity with parishes, organizations, congregations around the world and lend a helping hand to those in need,” Cardinal Yeom added.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of Seoul and Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation will run a telephone fundraising event to raise money for the campaign while making a theme song and a music video to inform and inspire people across the country.
South Korea has a population of about 51.8 million. According to Pew Research Center, about 46 percent of South Koreans are non-religious, 29 percent Christians and 23 percent Buddhists. About 11 percent of the population or about 5.6 million are Catholics.