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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - On 1 May, the second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Benedict XVI will preside at the rite of beatification for John Paul II in the Vatican.

According to a note released by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, "today 14 January, Benedict XVI, during an audience granted to Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, authorised the dicastery to promulgate the decree of the miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla). This concludes the process which precedes the rite of beatification...

The Holy See's decision on the beatification of John Paul II is an implicit and yet certain confirmation of its positive stance on Naju

Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the former Apostolic Nuncio to Korea (1991-1997) and to Albania (1997-2008), retired from his duties in 2008. He arrived in Rome in the early summer of 2008 and visited Vatican City for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope thanked the Archbishop for his long and fruitful service to the Church and gave him several specially-made rosaries as tokens of his gratitude. Then, the Archbishop asked the Pope: "I wish to make a report to Your Holiness on Naju in Korea. To whom should I present this report?" The Holy Father answered: "Present it to Archbishop Amato." Archbishop Angelo Amato had been the closest assistant to the Holy Father when he as Cardinal Josef Ratzinger had been the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Secretary of the Congregation and was being transferred to the Congregation for Causes of Saints as its new Prefect. In November 2010, the Archbishop was elevated to a Cardinal.

Several days after his audience with the Holy Father, Archbishop Bulaitis visited Archbishop Amato and presented to him a detailed verbal and written report on the actual status of Naju. It was a solemn, official act by Archbishop Bulaitis making his report to the Holy Father through Archbishop Amato, as the former Apostolic Nuncio to Korea. After hearing and seeing Archbishop Bulaitis' report, Archbishop Amato said, "I believe in the truthfulness of what has been happening in Naju. I will write a letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith." This letter that Archbishop Amato sent to the Congregation that had been formally investigating the case of Naju since April 2008 carried much of the dignity and authority of the Holy Father himself, as he commissioned Archbishop Amato to receive the report from Archbishop Bulaitis on his behalf. In other words, the highest officials at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received a written note or letter that clearly indicated where the Holy Father stood regarding the discernment of Naju and what he wanted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to do.

Later, in the fall of 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said to Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples that he was favorable on Naju. As this was a statement made by the Pope during his official meeting with the Prefect of the Congregation which was in charge of pastoral guidance and supervision of the Catholic Church in Korea, it carried a huge weight that could not be taken lightly by anyone, especially by the few liberal and secularized priests who had being wielding enormous power in the Church in Korea in abusive ways for the past several decades.

Earlier, in the fall of 2009, Archbishop Bulaitis also told me by phone that the Holy See was conducting an investigation of John Paul II's life to determine if he could be beatified and that there was an inseparable connection between the Holy See's decision on John Paul II's beatification and the official recognition of Naju. The reason for this connection was that John Paul II had not only personally believed in the truthfulness of the supernatural events in Naju but had taken several official actions based on his positive judgment on Naju:


  1. During the Korean Bishops' ad limina visit in 1991, Archbishop Victorinus Youn of the Kwangju Archdiocese reported to Pope John Paul II, "In my diocese, a statue of the Blessed Mother has been shedding tears." The Holy Father responded, "In such a case, it is important to carefully observe the fruits."
  2. On November 24, 1994, Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the Apostolic Nuncio to Korea at that time, visited Naju and witnessed two miraculous descents of the Eucharist in the Chapel in Naju. After that visit, the Archbishop made detailed reports on Naju to the Holy See. Pope John Paul II looked at the photographs of the Blessed Mother shedding tears and tears of blood for as long as 45 minutes with both of his hands raised as if praying during a Mass. We can only imagine what was going on in the Pope's mind while he was reviewing these reports.
  3. In September 1995, John Paul II sent one of his secretaries, Monsignor Vincent Thu, to Naju to console Julia Kim and also to invite her to one of the Masses celebrated by the Holy Father. Julia went to Rome next month and attended a morning Mass celebrated by John Paul II in his chapel on October 31, 1995. During this Mass, a miracle of the Eucharist turning into visible flesh and blood in the form of a heart on Julia's tongue occurred and was witnessed by the Pope after the Mass. The Holy See did not make any immediate announcement, but the Holy Father told Bishop William McNaughton of the Inchon Diocese in Korea during the Korean Bishops' ad limina visit in 1996 that he saw the Eucharist turned into flesh and blood in Julia's mouth.
  4. During the Korean Bishops' ad limina visit in 1996, Pope John Paul II asked the Bishops, "Share this wonderful grace (in Naju) with others in Asia."
  5. During a lunch meeting with the Korean Bishops in early March of 2001, the Pope asked the Bishops, "How is the situation in Naju?", knowing that the Korean Bishops had not done anything since their previous ad limina visit to comply with the Pope's request and also knowing that the Kwangju Archdiocese had issued a negative Declaration on Naju on January 1, 1998 in defiance of the Pope's request in 1996. As none of the Korean Bishops were answering the Pope's question, Bishop Paul Kim of the Cheju Diocese in Korea volunteered to make a detailed report to the Pope after the lunch. When Bishop Kim's hour-long report was finished, the Pope expressed great satisfaction and joy and embraced Bishop Kim. The Pope said that he would send instructions to the proper offices, which probably were the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. After hearing this information from Bishop Paul Kim in Korea by phone on March 31, 2001, I became firmly convinced that the official church approval of Naju would come soon. Sadly, because of the continuing opposition and defiance by the liberal priests in Korea, Naju is not approved yet, 10 years after Pope John Paul II made known his decision on Naju.
  6. In May 2001, several pilgrims from Los Angeles visited Rome and San Giovanni Rotondo, the shrine of St. Padre Pio and were greatly and pleasantly surprised to see the public display in St. Michael Church, in the vicinity of San Giovanni Rotondo, of the photographs and explanations of the Eucharistic miracle that had occurred on October 31, 1995 in the Pope's chapel. They also watched a TV program titled "Miracles", which allocated much time to the same Eucharistic miracle and the general situation in Naju. As these presentations in a church and on the TV directly involved the Pope, there must have been prior permissions from the Holy See according to an Italian tourist guide. Recent pilgrims in 2010 confirmed that the same display in the St. Michael Church was still continuing.

Because of these official decisions and actions of John Paul II regarding Naju, it would have been impossible for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to reach a positive conclusion on John Paul II's beatification unless the Congregation was convinced of the soundness of John Paul II's judgments and actions on Naju. If there remained any serious concerns or questions about the truthfulness of the events in Naju, the Holy See's decision on John Paul II's beatification would have surely been postponed.

Recently, on November 13, 2010, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, sent a letter to Fr. Aloysius Hong-Bin Chang in Naju with kind comforting words. Certainly he had been aware of the many severe persecutions and difficulties that Fr. Chang had suffered from other priests in the Kwangju Archdiocese. This letter from Cardinal Amato, who was the very person who had conducted the investigation of all the records on John Paul II and his activities and decided to recommend his beatification, implies a lot concerning the prospect of the official church recognition of Naju. We don't know when it will come, but there are reasons to believe that it will not take too long. One reason is that the Kwangju Archdiocese's negative Declaration of January 1, 1998 has never been officially reversed and, therefore, the Church's official position on Naju still remains negative and, if this negative position is not officially reversed before May 1, 2011, it will be a serious insult to the decision and rite of John Paul II's beatification. How can the Holy See beatify a person who believed in and took official papal actions for a false revelation? As this is an unthinkable scenario, there has to be an official action by the Church reversing the official negative position of the Church on Naju well before May 1. The spring session of the Korean Bishops' Conference due in late February seems to be a good time to implement that reversal. Also, both John Paul II and Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis must be ardently praying in Heaven for the official recognition of Naju soon so that the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Mother may triumph over the evil power of Satan without delay and that more vigorous evangelization efforts may sweep over the whole world (including the West which is in desperate need of a re-evangelization) for the greater glory of God.

Benedict Sang M. Lee
Mary’s Touch By Mail (U. S. A.)
January 19, 2011

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