South Korean churchgoers stop bad-mouthing

Three-week campaign aims to cut out grumbling and promote 'a life of gratitude, joy and hope'
South Korean churchgoers stop bad-mouthing

Father Sebastian Joo Kyung-soo (second left) gives a 'Stop Bad-Mouthing' wristband to a Donam Church parishioner at the launch of the campaign. (Photo supplied) reporter, Seoul
South Korea
February 2, 2018
Parishioners of Donam Church in South Korea's Seoul Archdiocese began a "Stop Bad-Mouthing" campaign on Jan. 28 after a proposal by head priest Father Sebastian Joo Kyung-soo.

They wore wristbands in various colors and made a pledge saying: "As a Catholic faithful, to show a good model to others, I hereby swear that from now I will not bad-mouth, grumble, blame and curse and live a life of gratitude, joy and hope."

The campaign follows a pastoral letter from Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung with the theme "Faith making fruits through love." 

"Not only helping other people materially but also bringing happiness and hope through good linguistic habits can be ways to implement love to others. Everybody talks and everybody can practice the campaign," Father Joo said.

"No matter how one leads a deep, faithful life, if he or she always bad-mouths and grumbles, it's like pouring water in a sieve. When there is negative awareness in one's inner mind, the 'love of joy' stressed by Pope Francis cannot appeal to people."

Parishioners pledged to avoid bad-mouthing for 21 days. Anyone who fails can switch their wristband to their other arm and begin another 21 days. Those who succeed will receive a certificate and a pendant of St. Patrick, guardian saint of the parish, as a present. 

Father Joo said: "Pope Francis once said, 'Those who do not bad-mouth are on track to becoming saints.' Through the campaign, I hope Donam Church be a community of gratitude, joy and hope."

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