A REFLECTION ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN KOREA
By Gregory Chu
August 6, 1999
I think that a major problem in the Church in Korea is
sacrilegious Communion. There seem to be so many people who have neither
faith in nor respect for the Eucharist, and receive Communion in the state
of sin. The reasons must be that people have not been clearly taught that
the Eucharist is truly Jesus, and also that they are too proud to worship
the Eucharist, which looks like bread, as the Lord. They have not been
properly educated in distinguishing between serious sins and venial sins,
either. In many parishes, it is not easy to make a Confession. On the
bulletin it says that Confession begins half an hour before Mass, but
actually it may begin just a few minutes before Mass. Neglect of
Confession undoubtedly has been related to the widespread indifference
toward the Eucharist.
Another problem in the Church in Korea is abortion.
Many Catholics also do it. I donít know what is going to happen to this
country. The fact that Korea remains divided between the North and the
South and continues to experience many disasters may be related to the
large number of abortions. (Statistics show that more than a half of
pregnancies end in abortion in South Korea as well as in North Korea,
Japan, China, and Russia.) The devil is using abortion as a most effective
tool to drive this country to total disaster.
In Catholic churches, we seldom hear strong sermons
against abortion. We only infrequently hear remarks against abortion as a
matter of principle. Protestants say that they are against it, but seem to
have no qualms about doing it. Buddhists donít even care. I believe that
one major reason why Korea has suffered so much from invasions in its
history has been that its people have had a long tradition of abortions.
Confucianism does not warn against abortion. Some of the Buddhists refrain
from eating meat out of their respect for life, but they are not against
abortion. The Catholic Church has a powerful doctrine against abortion,
but Catholics are a small minority in Korea. Besides, many Catholics seem
more interested in new theologies than in opposing abortion. Many of the
young Catholics in Korea are in favor of abortion. How serious the
responsibility of the priests would be from Godís standpoint!
Nowadays, oriental religious practices such as
meditation and "ki" (energy) are spreading like a plague. They
are closely related to the renewal movement within the Catholic Church.
They are also very closely related to the New Age movement. Recently, in a
major Catholic seminary, a nun brought a mok-tak (a wood block used in
Buddhist temples) to her class and invited her students to begin a
Buddhist-style meditation. People seem to be willing to sacrifice unity
with God for the sake of unity with other religions. Under the guise of
generosity that encourages giving up mine and accepting the ways of othersí,
people are neglecting the Heritage of Faith in the holy Catholic Church.
It is obvious that, in their hearts, they are becoming apostates. Many
seem to be thinking of religion as some kind of an accessory to wear.
Then, a religion may be like a political party that can be easily
assembled and disassembled. However, if we believe in God, we cannot
pursue unity with others deserting His doctrines and His ways.
I would rather have trust in God than in man.
(Translatorís Note: Gregory Chu is a
graduate student from Korea, majoring in physics at Oxford University in