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Korean church to celebrate Jubilee Year of Laity

Bishop hopes it will rekindle passion for faith life in the face of dwindling church numbers and participation

Korean church to celebrate Jubilee Year of Laity

Members of the Catholic Lay Apostolate of Korea after holding a rally at Myeongdong Cathedral Familia Chapel on April 8, 2015. The Korean Church is hoping a Jubilee Year will reinvigorate the lay faithful. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Times of Korea)

ucanews.com reporters, Seoul
South Korea

November 16, 2017

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The Catholic Church in Korea will start a year-long "Jubilee of the Laity" on Nov. 19 as part of efforts to revive the passion of lay faithful in the country.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea proclaimed the jubilee at the request of the Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of Korea (CLAK) which marks its 50th anniversary next year.

The jubilee will have the title "Witness for the New Evangelization — I chose you, and am appointed to go."

Bishop Basil Cho Kyu-man of Wonju, president of the bishops' Committee for the Lay Apostolate, released a pastoral letter Nov. 3 saying he expected the jubilee to create momentum for more active faith lives among lay people.

"One thing the Korean Church can take pride in is the fact that the church in Korea was set up by lay faithful who studied the Catholic doctrine and accepted it as faith without any foreign missionaries," he said. "However, currently many of the faithful have became passive and half-hearted in their faith lives."

Bishop Cho noted the reality of the falling number of baptisms, low Sunday Mass participation rates and the increasing number of non-practicing Catholics.

"With the jubilee as a turning point, I hope the Korean lay faithful become more passionate in within the church," the bishop said.

CLAK president Paul Kwon Kil-joong also said he hoped that it would revitalize faith activities among the church laity. "My wishes for the jubilee are that it makes us look inside our faith life and renew it."

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