X
UCA News

Indonesia

Bishop Warns Catholics On Activities Related To Naju Marian Shrine

Updated: July 16, 2007 05:00 PM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Share this article :

A Korean bishop has warned Catholics not to join activities organized by devotees of a controversial Marian shrine, and he urged priests to educate parishioners on the matter.

Bishop Boniface Choi Ki-san of Incheon on June 29 released a pastoral directive forbidding Catholics from joining Naju shrine devotees who held a Mass in his diocesan territory, just west of Seoul. The Catholic Bishops´ Conference of Korea in 1998 rejected the alleged miracles associated with the shrine, which began more than two decades ago in Naju, 285 kilometers south of the capital.

The bishop also released a 14-page letter titled "Theological and Pastoral Reflection and Directive Related to Julia Youn of Naju." In it he urges priests to use homilies to educate parishioners on the matter as well as on proper Marian devotion.

Despite earlier warnings, Bishop Choi said in his pastoral directive, "some 700 followers of Julia Youn Hong-sun of Naju joined a liturgical event in Bucheon celebrated by a Korean priest from Atlanta diocese, in the United States."

They held a night vigil on June 16 at a wedding hall in Bucheon. An unidentified ethnic Korean priest from the United States celebrated a Mass for them, according to the shrine´s website (www.najumary.or.kr). They also held a prayer rally and listened to Youn preach.

Father Andrew Pak Hui-jung, canon law professor at Incheon Catholic University, told UCA News on July 16 that even if Youn and her followers firmly believe in their cause, it is not good to go against Church guidance.

"Nobody knows what the Blessed Mother´s will is. Church recognition of her revelations cannot be done in a short time. The devotees need to wait and see what happens next, while obeying the bishops´ directives," he said.

The Korean Church needs to be more active in banning the activities of Youn and her followers, he continued. "Priests from Indonesia and the Philippines have come to Naju and celebrated Masses with the followers."

Youn insists she has received private revelations through her Marian statue in Naju since it "started weeping" in 1985. Some Catholics have visited the statue since then, even though Korean bishops in March 1998 agreed to respect and observe Kwangju archdiocese´s bans on private liturgy and the dissemination of materials related to the revelations.

The woman insists her statue has shed tears of blood and fragrant oil, and given her revelations. Another claim is that the Eucharist fell "from heaven" at times when visiting bishops and her group had Mass in her private chapel.

Youn and her group further claim the Eucharist changed into a lump of bloody flesh in her mouth several times, including once in 1995 when Pope John Paul II gave her Communion at the Vatican. The Naju website maintains the late pope saw this but said nothing.

In 1998, however, Archbishop Victorinus Youn Kong-hi declared there was "no evidence that proves" the alleged visions and strange phenomena concerning Youn and the Marian statue are "truly supernatural and thus from God." At the time, the now retired prelate headed Kwangju archdiocese, which covers Naju.

His successor, Archbishop Andreas Choi Chang-mou, issued two pastoral directives on the matter, in 2001 and 2005. They warn that all who fail to follow the directives are to be considered as willfully opposing the magisterium, the Catholic Church´s divinely guided authority to teach true doctrine.

END

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Mission in Asia - Contribute to help UCA News
Mission in Asia - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia