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Pope thanks Korean Church for donations to vaccine fund

Archdiocese of Seoul will continue to lend a helping hand to people in need around the world

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Published: January 11, 2022 09:09 AM GMT

Updated: January 11, 2022 11:21 AM GMT

Pope thanks Korean Church for donations to vaccine fund

A view of Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea. Pope Francis has thanked the Korean Church for contributions to the Vatican's vaccine-sharing campaign. (Photo: Seoul Archdiocese) 

Pope Francis has expressed his gratitude to the Catholic Church in South Korea for contributions to the Vatican-sponsored campaign to provide Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries.

“I am very grateful for the offering that you, on behalf of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Seoul, sent me for needy people affected by Covid-19,” the pope said in a letter to Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick of Seoul dated Dec. 23 that was shared with UCA News on Jan. 11.

“I very much appreciated this gesture of generosity made in the days in which we prepare to celebrate the Mystery of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Hope. I assure my spiritual closeness to the entire diocesan Community of Seoul.” 

The pope's letter came shortly after Seoul Archdiocese sent the Vatican about US$1.4 million on Dec. 17 out of funds it raised for the campaign to ensure equitable, timely and universal access for all countries to Covid-19 vaccines. In addition, the archdiocese had sent the Vatican more than $3.4 million by the end of last year, according to an official press release. 

The initiative had been launched by Cardinal Andrew Yeom, retired archbishop of Seoul. It ended on Nov. 27, 2021, the final day of the jubilee of the 200th birth anniversary of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, the first native Catholic priest and patron saint of Korea.

Cardinal Yeom had made a moving appeal to the faithful to donate to the vaccine fund to express solidarity with the poor.

The Holy Father has expressed appreciation in a letter for every contribution made to the campaign

“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 said.

Father Matthias Young-yup Hur, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Seoul, noted that the pope’s letters of appreciation after every contribution to the vaccine fund inspired Catholics in the country.

“The Holy Father has expressed appreciation in a letter for every contribution made to the campaign. Additionally, he said he was especially grateful for the sacrifice and love shared by the Korean Church for the needy and the poor,” the priest said.

In solidarity with the pope’s apostolic exhortation on the poor, the Archdiocese of Seoul will continue to lend a helping hand to people in need around the world, he added.

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