Korean summit fills bishops with joy, prayers of thanks

The outcome of the Korean summit between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un has been greeted with joy and calls for prayers of thanksgiving.

The United States and North Korean leaders signed a joint-statement making commitments “to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”

After the summit, Trump said Kim would work to end North Korea’s nuclear programme. Trump promised to end joint military exercises with South Korea.

South Korean Archbishop Kim Hee-Jung called the summit outcome “a surprise and a joy.”

“Peace is never attained once and for all, but must be built up ceaselessly,” he said quoting the Second Vatican Council’s pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world, Gaudium et spes.

Pope Francis’ ambassador to Korea says a “very important” new page has been turned.

Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, apostolic nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia, says the joint statement “marks the beginning of a still long and arduous journey, but we are hopeful because the start has been very positive, very good.”

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul and the apostolic administrator of Pyeongyang celebrated Mass together to pray for the summit agreement to take effect promptly.

“When I heard the news that there was a meaningful agreement between the two summits in their first meeting, I deeply thanked God to remember our prayers for reconciliation and union of the Korean people,” Cardinal Yeom said in his homily.

“I sincerely wish that the agreement can be promptly executed to achieve the common good not only for Korean people but for all people on the globe.”

He added prayers for the believers in North Korea to have the freedom of religion and be able to lead humane lives as soon as possible.

South Korean bishops have called for Catholics to pray a novena for North Korea from 17 to 25 June with specific prayer intentions for each day.

The novena includes prayers for the North Korean people, separated families, North Korean refugees, the evangelisation of the North and the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.


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