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A CHRONOLOGY OF THE CHURCH RESPONSES TO THE REPORTED SUPERNATURAL EVENTS IN NAJU

Prepared for presentation 
to
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 
the Holy See

1. July 1985: One day after the Blessed Mother's statue in Julia Kim's apartment in Naju, Korea, began shedding tears at almost mid-night on June 30, 1985, Fr. Lazarus Chun-Soo Lee, Pastor of Naju, came to Julia's apartment with two Sisters and witnessed the tears. Fr. Lee believed in the truthfulness of the sign and testified before other visitors that the Blessed Mother was weeping because of so many abortions and the unfaithful lives of many people including some priests whom she loves especially.

 

2.  Several years since 1985: In the first years of the miracles in Naju, Archbishop Victorinus Gong-Hee Yoon of Kwangju (in the Naju area) said to the individuals who asked him about Naju that they were free to visit Naju for their private devotion. He also said to a priest that he had not found any conflict between the messages in Naju and the Church teachings. The Archbishop himself did not visit Naju; nor did he order any investigation including scientific tests even until his retirement in November 2000. The reason for this may have been the strong aversion of the leading priests in his diocese to any supernatural phenomena.

 

3. January 1990: Bishop Daniel Hak-Soon Chi of the Wonju Diocese in Korea came to Naju for his novena prayers. On his last day in Naju, the Bishop saw tears of blood streaming down from the Blessed Mother's eyes on her statue. Bishop Chi wept and wrote a brief testimony in the guest book: "I clearly saw and firmly believe." Bishop Chi then visited Archbishop Yoon of Kwangju and urged him to approve Naju. Archbishop Yoon and Bishop Chi had been classmates in the seminary. In the 1970s, Bishop Chi had been imprisoned for protesting against some authoritarian policies of the government in South Korea at that time.

 

4. Late 1980s and early 1990s: Cardinal Jaime Sin of the Philippines had a special respect and love for the Blessed Mother of Naju and believed in the truthfulness of Julia's mission. Cardinal Sin was dearly loved and respected by all the Filipino people for his strong faith and resistance against some abuses by the Marcos government. The Cardinal said that Julia was welcome to give her testimony any-where in the Philippines. Julia visited His Eminence several times.

 

5. Spring 1991: During the Korean Bishops' ad limina visit to the Holy See in 1991, Archbishop Victorinus Yoon reported to Pope John Paul II that a statue of the Blessed Mother in his diocese had been shedding tears. The Holy Father responded: "In such matters, it is important to observe the fruit."

 

6. November 24, 1994: Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the Papal Nuncio to Korea, telephoned Archbishop Victorinus of Kwangju and visited the Blessed Mother's Chapel in Naju accompanied by Msgr. Peter (his secretary), Fr. Raymond Spies (Julia's spiritual director), and Fr. Thomas Aquinas Sang-Chul Oh (a Korean parish priest). Archbishop Bulaitis placed a royal crown on the Blessed Mother's statue and prayed. There also were about 70 other people in the Chapel including a priest from Ireland and two other Korean priests. During this visit, Archbishop Bulaitis (and others) witnessed a miraculous descent of the Holy Eucharist twice and also experienced the strong fragrance of roses filling the Chapel throughout his visit. Archbishop Bulaitis mentioned to the priests in the Chapel that he had not received any report on Naju for three years since 1991 when he had been appointed the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Korea. After his return to Seoul, Archbishop Bulaitis sent a report to the Holy See.

 

7. December 1994: The Kwangju Archdiocese, surprised by the Papal Nuncio's visit to Naju, hurriedly organized a Naju investigating committee. The selection of the committee members was made by Fr. Alberto Yong-Ju Chang, a powerful priest in the Kwangju Archdiocese and a leader of the group called Priests for Social Justice (During his speech at a Marian shrine in Taegu on October 9, 2008, Fr. Alberto Chang revealed that he had made the selection of the members of the Naju Investigating Committee with the permis-sion of Archbishop Victrinus Yoon). The members were Fr. Alberto Chang himself, Fr. Edward Je-Min Ri (a theologian and leader among the radically liberal priests in Korea), Fr. Peter Soon-Sung Ri (a dogmatic theologian with a strongly liberal inclination), Fr. Lazarus Chun-Soo Lee (Pastor of Naju, who had been positive on Naju but later changed his position under the pressure from other priests in the committee), several other priests who were sympathetic to the liberal causes, and Fr. Thomas More Jong-Pyo Chung, who was the only member who was clearly positive on Naju. Fr. Thomas More Chung studied Cannon Law in Rome and has been the chief justice in the Archdiocesan tribunal. His elder brother: Dr. Jong-Hyu Chung, is a senior professor at the law school of a major university in Kwangju, who also translated one of the books written by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI when he was a cardinal. Dr. Chung has been vigorously hated by the liberal priests in Korea. Thus, the Naju Investigating committee was dominated by several powerful opponents of Naju and was incapable of conducting an unpreju-diced and objective investigation. Rejection of Naju by this com-mittee was a foregone conclusion even before it began its work.

 

8. 1995 - 1997: The Kwangju Archdiocese's Naju Investigating Committee spent three years on its investigation, during which its member priests made a brief visit to the Chapel in Naju and Julia's home only once and conducted superficial interviews of only a few witnesses including Julia and Fr. Spies. Their interview of Julia did not include any relevant theological or factual questions but was filled with irrelevant personal questions, cynical comments, blasphemous remarks, and loud laughs. The committee did not order any scientific tests of the evidence of the reported miraculous phenomena. The following are just a few examples of what the members of the investigating committee said during their interview of Julia. Fr. Edward Ri said, "How can the Blessed Mother come down from heaven through the extremely cold atmosphere?" Hearing this, other priests in the committee laughed loudly. Fr. Jae-Young Kim, chairman of the committee said more seriously, "God the Father cannot speak, because he does not have a body. Jesus and the Blessed Mother could speak because they had human nature, but they died two thousand years ago. So, they cannot speak now." Fr. Edward Ri said to Julia again, "What are you going to do, if I do not believe the Blessed Mother's messages?" When Julia answered that she could only pray for him, most of the priests in the room laughed loudly probably with a feeling of relief. The committee was dominated by three powerful priests, who were deeply entrenched in the modernist ideas: (1) Fr. Alberto Yong-Joo Chang (Please see the enclosed additional information on him).

[
Fr. Alberto Chang and many other young priests of the 1970s and 80s became actively interested in the political and social improvement of the Korean society partly under the unintended influence of His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim, who had been the highest prelate in Korea for three decades (1969-1998) and had been widely respected by the Korean population for advocating social justice and frequently speaking against the authoritarian government of President Park. Cardinal Kim had studied sociology at Mźnster University in Germany (1956-1963) and his influence played some role in bringing about re-arrangement of the priorities in the Catholic Church in Korea from emphasis on the traditional Church doctrines and devotions to promotion of the political and social justice and also to recognizing other Christian communities and other religions. One of the side effects of this change in the Church priorities has been the widespread notion in Korea that the main purpose of a religion is to build a better, more just society on earth and, for this purpose, all religions are good. To some individuals who asked him about Naju, Cardinal Kim answered, "I do not like private revelations".]

(2) Fr. Edward Je-Min Ri: Also educated in Germany, he has been the leading theologian spreading modernist heresies in Korea. He still has a large following among the young priests, Sisters, and lay people in Korea. (More on him Pages 5-6.)

(3) Fr. Richard Soon-Sung Ri: Also educated in Germany and a dogmatic theologian. He was the secretary general of the Naju Investigating Committee. Two months after the Declaration was announced on January 1, 1998, he contributed an article to the Pastoral Care, an official monthly magazine of the Korean Bishops' Conference, in which he said that the real reason for rejecting the Eucharistic miracles in Naju in the Kwangju Archdiocese's Declaration was to promote unity with the Protestant brethren. This was reported to the Holy See, and the Holy See sent a letter to the Korean Bishops' Conference regarding Fr. Richard Ri's article. He had to resign from his teaching position at Kwangju Seminary and has been living in a monastery in Kwangju.

Probably, one of the most serious mistakes by the investigation committee on Naju was that it totally failed or ignored to consider the opinions and testimonies of Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, Bishop Paul Chang-Yeol Kim of Cheju, Bishop Roman Danylak of Canada, and Bishop Dominic Su of Malaysia who had personally experienced or witnessed one or more miraculous phenomena in Naju or in connection with Julia.

 

9. September 22, 1995: Bishop Roman Danylak from Toronto, Canada, came to Naju and witnessed a miraculous change in the Eucharistic species on Julia's tongue during an open-air Mass on the Blessed Mother's Mountain in Naju. The Eucharist changed into a thick lump of live and moving Flesh and Blood in the shape of a small heart. Later, Bishop Danylak wrote a sworn testimony recognizing the phenomenon he observed in Naju as a true sign from God for the purpose of strengthening our faith in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist. Bishop Danylak gave his testimony in several countries. About his experience in Naju, Fr. Joseph Finn, a retired priest from London, Canada, and who accompanied Bishop Danylak to Naju, published a small book titled: The Reality of the Living Presence.

 

10. October 1995: In September 1995, Pope John Paul II sent Msgr. Vincent Thu, one of his two private secretaries, to Naju. Msgr. Thu relayed to Julia the Holy Father's words of love and respect for the Blessed Mother of Naju and also his consolation for Julia. Msgr. Thu extended an invitation to Julia to come to the Vatican and attend a Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in his private chapel. Thus, on October 31, 1995, in the morning, Julia together with Julio (her husband), Msgr. Nam-Ik Paik (the secretary general of the Korean Bishops' Conference), and a few others attended the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father. After the Mass, the Holy Father saw the miraculously-changed Eucharistic species in Julia's mouth. The Eucharist had changed into a thick lump of Flesh and Blood in the shape of a heart.

 

11. 1996:     During the Korean Bishops' ad limina visit in 1996, the Holy Father mentioned to Bishop William McNaughton of Incheon (the only American or non-Korean Bishop in Korea at that time) that he had seen the Eucharistic miracle in Julia's mouth. (Bishop McNaughton later mentioned this to Fr. Aloysius Hong-Bin Chang.) The Holy Father also asked the Korean Bishops during the same visit that they share the wonderful graces (in Naju) with others in Asia. The Korean church leaders, however, have not been able to comply with the Holy Father's earnest request because of the widespread and deep-rooted modernist influence in Korea.

 

12. September 17, 1996: During the Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Sibu, Malaysia, Bishop Dominic Su witnessed a Eucharistic miracle through Julia, in which the Sacred Host turned into visible and live Flesh and Blood in the shape of a small heart. Bishop Su recognized it as a true miracle as the Ordinary of the Sibu Diocese in his letter to Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the Papal Nuncio to Korea at that time.

 

13. May 1997: The Apostolic nunciature in Seoul relayed to the Korean Bishops' Conference the information that the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples had issued a warning to three priests in Korea for their publications that contained erroneous contents. They were Fr. Edward Je-Min Ri, Fr. Yang-Mo Chung, and Fr. Gong-Suk Suh. Especially, Fr. Edward Ri had been a leading member of the Kwangju Archdiocese's investigation committee on Naju since 1995. Fr. Ri had to resign from the teaching position at the Kwangju Seminary, but has remained defiant to the Holy See and continued spreading his heretical ideas. He has continued to attack the hierarchical structure of the Church advocating a Church that is led by the Holy Spirit (instead of the hierarchy). He denied the resurrection of human body in his book titled: "Did Jesus Really Resurrect?"(Please see the enclosed copy of Albino Dong Myoung Kim's letter to His Holiness Pope Benedixt XVI dated June 10, 2006 on Fr. Edward Ri's controversial book.) In an article he wrote, Fr. Edward Ri criticized the Korean Bishops for failing to protect him from the disciplinary action by the Holy See. A few years ago, he was even invited to speak at a meeting of the Korean residents in New Jersey, the U. S. A., who had been associated with the We Are Church movement that had originated in Austria. Despite his unorthodox ideas, he has been widely popular in Korea and has been the retreat leader for the hundreds of the Sisters who are catechists in Korea for several consecutive years. (Please see the attached translation of an article written by Fr. Edward Ri.) Fr. Yang-Mo Chung has also continued his defiant posture against the Church hierarchy and has been teaching in an Anglican seminary in Seoul, as he had to leave the Catholic seminary.

 

14. Late 1997: In late 1997, three years after the Kwangju Archdiocese's Investigation Committee on Naju had been organized, the Archdiocese sent a draft of the Declaration on Naju to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP) for approval. The CEP instructed the Kwangju Archdiocese to make some changes in the draft. The Kwangju Archdiocese only made some superficial changes and sent it back to the CEP, which then instructed the Kwangju Archdiocese to get consent from all the Bishops in Korea before making the document official. Realizing that this was impossible, as several Bishops in Korea at that time (Bishop William McNaughton of Incheon, Bishop Nam-Soo Kim of Suwon, Bishop Paul Kim of Cheju, and Bishop Jae-Sun Choi of Pusan) were favorable on Naju, Archbishop Victorinus Yoon of Kwangju (probably gladly, as he had been pushed by the modernist priests in opposing Naju) decided to postpone the Declaration indefinitely. The priests in the Kwangju Archdiocese panicked and sought a special help from the higher level. We only learned in October 2008 that the Kwangju Archdiocese had received a letter from the CDF, which stated "non constat" on Naju. Since then, this letter from the Holy See has served as the basis for the Kwangju Archdiocese's claiming its unity with the Holy See in issuing the Declaration on Naju (More on this on Pages 12 & 13).

 

15. January 1, 1998: After three years of perfunctory investigation, the Kwangju Archdiocese issued a negative declaration on Naju on the New Year's Day of 1998, in which it condemned the events in Naju because the phenomena known as Eucharistic miracles did not conform to the Church teaching that says that the Eucharistic species of bread and wine must not change even after the consecration, thus condemning not only the miracles in Naju but also all the Eucharistic miracles in Church history (and for other similar reasons). That this version of Church doctrine presented by the Kwangju Archdiocese was a distortion of the true Church doctrine has been repeatedly pointed out by an increasing number of people inside and outside Korea. Also, the realization that the Kwangju Archdiocese issued its Declaration condemning Naju without any scientific examination or interviews of the important witnesses has been widely spreading.

 

16. Early 2001: In November 2000, Archbishop Victorinus Yoon retired and was succeeded by Archbishop Andrew Choi in early 2001. (Before coming to Kwangju, Archbishop Andrew Choi had been an auxiliary Bishop of the Seoul Archdiocese. Before that, he had been the president of the major seminary in Seoul. He had received a doctoral degree in theology from the University of Freiburg in Germany in 1969.) As the Ordinary of the Kwangju Archdiocese, Archbishop Choi has seemed more determined to put an end to Naju than his predecessor and has issued several documents imposing more restrictions on those who visit Naju. In his interview of Julia and Julio (her husband) in the Naju parish office in March 2001, Archbishop Choi said: "The purpose of the investigation under Archbishop Victorinus Yoon was not to find out whether the events in Naju were miracles or not but to find out whether they harmed the unity in the Church." "The Eucharist cannot change into flesh and blood." "The events that have been happening in Naju are not compatible with the sentiments in the Church in Korea." To us, it seemed as though the Archbishop was talking about the human standards in discerning whether something was coming from God or not. He also appointed Fr. Luke Hong-Chul Song as the new Pastor of Naju, who vowed to crush Naju even with a bulldozer. Fr. Song did not allow Julia to attend Mass by saying, "If she brings the Blessed Mother's statue to me and declares before the parishioners during a Sunday Mass that she has been fabricating messages and miracles and promises never to do it again, then, she will be allowed to come back to the Church." "She must hide herself and remain silent not even breathing, like a serpent." The Korean and foreign pilgrims to Naju have not been allowed to enter the Naju parish church. Some of the Japanese pilgrims cried outside the church after they were refused to attend the Mass in the Naju Parish Church. Fr. Song and other priests in Kwangju also refused the funeral Mass for Julia's mother-in-law for no other reason than that she was related to Julia. An American priest (Fr. Fausto Zelaya from San Francisco), who came to Naju as a pilgrim, celebrated the funeral Mass for her at the burial ground. After he returned to the States, Fr. Zelaya wrote to the Holy See about what he saw in Naju.

 

17. March 2001: In early March 2001, when the Korean Bishops were again in the Vatican for their ad limina visit, Pope John Paul II asked the Korean Bishops at a lunch meeting about the situation in Naju. The Holy Father wanted to know if they had done anything since the previous ad limina visit when he had asked them to share the grace in Naju with others in Asia. This question by the Holy Father also implied that he was not accepting the Kwangju Arch-diocese's negative Declaration on Naju issued three years earlier on January 1, 1998. The Korean Bishops including Archbishop Victorinus Yoon did not answer the Pope's question and a long uncomfortable silence continued. Finally, Bishop Paul Kim of Cheju, sitting next to the Holy Father, said to the Holy Father that he would give him a detailed report after the lunch. So, Bishop Kim made a detailed verbal report to the Holy Father for about an hour after lunch. After hearing Bishop Kim's report, the Holy Father was extremely happy, smiled and embraced Bishop Kim despite his illness. He said that he would give instructions to the proper office. Sadly, the Korean Bishops have not complied with the Pope's request yet and the Kwangju Archdiocese is still holding on to its negative position on Naju, risking the guilt of despising the Pope's supreme authority.

 

18. May 2001: Two months after the Korean Bishops' ad limina visit to the Vatican in March of 2001, a group of pilgrims from Los Angeles, California, went to Italy and were pleasantly surprised to see the photographs and explanations of the Eucharistic miracle through Julia in the Vatican on October 31, 1995, displayed in the lobby of a church in honor of St. Michael the Archangel, located north of San Giovanni Rotondo, the shrine of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, along with other church-approved Eucharistic miracles such as the miracle in Lanciano. The travel guide translated the Italian explanation of the miracle on October 31, 1995 into English and said that such a public display of the Eucharistic miracle through Julia would not be possible without a prior permission by the Holy See, because this miracle involved the Holy Father himself. Only a few days later, the same pilgrims also learned that a major Catholic TV company in Italy was broadcasting all over Italy a video on the miracles in Naju. The travel guide again explained that the TV company must have received a prior permission from the Holy See. These were some of the concrete signs that Pope John Paul II was moving toward the official approval of Naju and was urging the Church in Korea to follow his lead.

 

19. October 2002: According to the October 27, 2002 issue of the Peace Weekly, a major Catholic newspaper in Korea, Fr. Basilio Kyu-Man Cho, a theology professor at Suwon Seminary and now an Auxiliary Bishop of the Seoul Archdiocese, spoke on "private revelations" during a symposium at Suwon Seminary on October 23, 2002. Fr. Cho said, "The changes in the Eucharist into a lump of flesh and blood in Julia's mouth contradicted the New Covenant that Jesus Christ is present in the form of bread and wine and also the claim that the Eucharist miraculously descended from the sky contradicts the teaching on the validity of the Eucharist that the Eucharist can only be formed through consecration by validly-ordained priests."

 

20. November/December 2007: In 2007, the Kwangju Archdiocese was anxiously preparing for the ad limina visit in November of that year. They remembered the embarrassment that the Korean Bishops experi-enced in the previous visit in March 2001, when they were not able to answer Pope John Paul II's question on Naju. Especially, Fr. Alberto Yong-Joo Chang, the powerful leader of the opponents of Naju and the president of Peace Television, a Catholic TV company in the Kwangju Archdiocese, contacted a large secular TV company in Seoul, MBC TV, to persuade them to produce a video which will destroy the reputation of Naju. He provided MBC TV with lots of distorted and fabricated information. The MBC staff agreed and produced a video that was shockingly slanderous about Naju. The Kwangju priests were convinced that whoever saw this video would become disgusted with Naju. Then, Fr. Alberto Chang had this video translated into Italian and English and gave several copies to Archbishop Andrew Choi to take them to the Vatican. The Vatican officials, however, had already been informed about this video and were not impressed by it. It probably was a shame that a Catholic Bishop, who has not conducted an objective, thorough investigation of a case in his diocese, brought to the Holy See a video produced by a secular TV company, which has had a habit of broadcasting false information. Just to take a couple of examples, last year, when this TV company aired a program criticizing the imports of beef from the U. S. A., presenting a fabricated evidence of the Ameri-can cows infected with the mad-cow disease, the Korean govern-ment threatened to file a suit against it. This company soon apologized to the public for its carelessness. A few years earlier, the same MBC TV accused Fr. Woong-Jin Oh, the founder of The Village of Flowers, which is a huge charitable care center for looking after the poorest in Korea, of some embezzlement of funds. Later, it was found that the priest was completely innocent, and the TV company apologized. People in Naju produced a video to counter the calumnies in this company's video, but has not filed any law suit or has any plan to do so. Many people in the world remain infected with the false information in their video.

Cardinal Ivan Dias, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evan-gelization of Peoples (CEP), asked Archbishop Andrew Choi of Kwangju some sharp questions regarding why he was not accept-ing Naju. At the CDF also, which Archbishop Choi and his Auxiliary Bishop visited, he was urged by the Bishops and priests there to accept Naju. After his return to Kwangju, Archbishop Choi told several priests in his diocese, "The Holy See was like a public relations office for Naju." Fr. Aloysius Chang heard what Archbishop Choi was saying especially during the daily meals, because he had been ordered by the Archbishop to live in the Archdiocesan office building (as a punishment for his support for Naju).

 

21. February 2008: After hearing from Archbishop Andrew Choi about his trip to Rome, the Kwangju priests were in panic and had to take some drastic measure to stem the tidal wave of calls for a more responsible handling of the Naju question. They again persuaded the Kwangju Archbishop to issue the harshest document ever: The Decree on January 19, 2008 for expelling Fr. Aloysius Hong-Bin Chang from the Archdiocese and also for threatening all the Catholics in the world with automatic excommunication if they visited Naju. Following the stipulations in the Canon Law, Fr. Aloysius Chang first submitted a petition to Archbishop Andrew Choi of Kwangju for reconsideration of the penalty on him and, after receiving a negative reply from the Archbishop as expected, prepared more documentation and visited the Holy See in the mid-February accompanied by me as his interpreter. Fr. Aloysius Chang presented his document to the CDF, the CEP, and the Congregation for the Clergy. At all three Congregations, we were warmly received by the officials, who were already very well informed about the situation in Korea. Cardinal Ivan Dias, the Prefect of the CEP was not available as he was visiting China. Several days later, however, His Eminence returned and, despite his travel fatigue, granted us an audience in his office on Saturday afternoon (February 16, 2008). His Eminence said some encourag-ing words and asked us to be patient and pray harder so that the Blessed Mother could remove the remaining obstacles. He asked us to keep joyful faces and gave us a blessing. We were so grateful.

On our last day in Rome, we received urgent information from Korea that the opposing priests (and several Bishops) were trying to have the Korean Bishops' Conference, which was in session in Seoul at that time, formally endorse the Kwangju Archbishop's Decree of January 19, 2008 against Naju. We informed Cardinal Dias. He also received the same information from the nunciature in Seoul. His Eminence sent an urgent message to Bishop Ik Chang, President of the Korean Bishops' Conference not to endorse the Kwangju Archbishop's Decree. About two months later, Cardinal Dias also sent a letter to the Archbishop of Kwangju informing him that the Kwangju Archdiocese's restric-tions do not apply to the pilgrims to Naju, as the events in Naju are considered private revelations and that the restrictions on Fr. Aloysius Chang should also be lifted and he can celebrate Mass.

 

22. April 2008: While Fr. Aloysius Chang and I were visiting the officials at the CEP in the mid-February of 2008, we were told that the doctrinal issues concerning Naju would be handled by the CDF, which is the highest competent authority under the Pope on all doctrinal matters. We heard, in April 2008, that the responsibility of conducting the examination of the Naju case had been transferred to the CDF. We are glad that the extremely important doctrinal issues regarding the events in Naju and the Kwangju Archdiocese's documents are finally being formally examined by the Holy See. We believe that the doctrinal issues hold the key regarding the discernment of the authenticity of Naju as well as in dealing with the many other serious problems in the Catholic life all over the world. When the judgment is made by the CDF, all the Bishops, priests, religious, and lay people in the world who are faithful to the Lord will joyfully and totally accept it.

 

23. July 2, 2008: Probably prompted by a letter from the CEP regarding Naju, Archbishop Andrew Choi of Kwangju made a surprise visit to the Blessed Mother's Chapel and Mountain on July 2, 2008, at about 3 p.m., accompanied by several priests and lay people. The Archbishop was kind to the pilgrims and volunteer helpers in Naju. He said, "I have not prohibited prayers," and "Receive abundant graces and also the Holy Spirit." The accompanying priests, however, had stern, cold faces and were only taking photographs in the Chapel and on the Mountain without saying any words. What the Archbishop said during this visit could be perceived as a reversal or softening of his Decree of January 19, 2008, in which he prohibited pilgrimages to Naju and punished Fr. Aloysius Chang. It is our understanding, though, that a Bishop's Declaration and Decree are solemn, official documents of the Church, and, therefore, can only be repealed or amended by another formal document signed by the Bishop. This visit by the Archbishop of Kwangju could still be viewed as a first positive step, because, before then, the Archbishop of Kwangju had only been announcing more restrictions and threats of punishment.

 

24. Summer/Fall 2008: In the summer and fall of 2008, further detailed and comprehensive reports on Naju including many color photos and DNA test results were presented to the CDF by His Excellency Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Korea from 1991 to 1997, and is now retired. We hope that this addition of Archbishop Bulaitis' act of enormously reliable testimony will be of much help to the officials at the CDF in reaching conclu-sions about Naju. Of course, we are aware that the messages and miraculous signs in Naju are many and cover extremely important Church doctrines and, therefore, must require much time for analysis. We will continue to pray and work hard so that the truths from God may become known to more people and draw them to the Love of God with the help of the Blessed Mother. We look forward to the day when the reported events in Naju are found to fully conform to the teachings of the Church and thus are officially approved by the Church. Then, the messages will be put into practice by numerous people all over the world; the heretical defiance against the Church teachings and authority will be broken; and the fire of genuine apostolic zeal and charity will flame up in all corners of the world.

 

25. October 2008: Msgr. Paul Chee, who assists Bishop Dominic Su in the Sibu Diocese, Malaysia, came to Naju with other pilgrims from Malaysia and Singapore to participate in the prayer meeting on October 19, 2008, the 22nd anniversary of Our Lady's first tears of blood in Naju. He had visited Naju many times before as a pilgrim. This time, Msgr. Chee brought a copy of Archbishop Andrew Choi's letter dated September 5, 2008 addressed to Bishop Dominic Su written for the purpose of discouraging Bishop Su from visiting Naju. Msgr. Chee seemed to have Bishop Su's permission to bring this letter to Naju. Bishop Su had also visited Naju several times before, and even officially recognized the Eucharistic miracle through Julia Kim (in his letter to the Apostolic Nuncio in Seoul) that he had witnessed during the Mass celebrated by him and other priests in his Cathedral in Sibu on September 17, 1996. In his letter to Bishop Su, Archbishop Choi said, "My predecessor, Archbishop Victorinus Youn, formed the Investigation Committee on the Naju Affair and handed in the findings of the survey to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. After that, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Archbishop Victorinus Yoon issued the identical Decree stating that the 'Phenomena surrounding Julia Youn cannot be verified as miracles. In Latin 'non constat'." This was the first time that we learned about the existence of a document issued by the CDF on the question of Naju. We had been aware that the priests in the Kwangju Archdiocese had persistently claimed that they had been in unity with the Holy See regarding the Declara-tion on Naju. In the Declaration itself, a term such as "the Magisterium" was used, giving the readers the impression that the Holy See had consented to the contents of the Declaration. This, however, must be a brazen misrepresentation and distortion of the Holy See's true position by the priests in Kwangju, because the expression: "non constat" only means "insufficient evidence for recognizing the reported phenomena as supernatural" and did not indicate a final decision. The Kwangju Archdiocese's Declara-tion, on the other hand, was conclusively negative on Naju and totally rejected Naju, because, in the Declaration, it was stated that "the alleged Eucharistic miracles in Naju were in conflict with the Church teachings," to take just one example. The same Declaration also prohibited people's visits to Naju, propagation of the information about Naju, and even possessing and seeing the printed materials or videos about Naju. This Declaration has been the foundation and justification for the severe persecutions of the pilgrims and prohibition of all religious activities in the places associated with Julia Kim ever since its issuance in 1998. These are clear proofs that the Kwangju Archdiocese's intention was not an objective and cautious investigation of Naju but to crush and eliminate Naju under all circumstances, whereas the CDF's letter only stated "not sufficient evidence" leaving the door open for a more conclusive decision later based on more sufficient informa-tion. It is also very possible that the CDF did not have sufficient information about Naju, because the Kwangju Archdiocese had not sent the CDF sufficient information on Naju. The Kwangju Archdiocese itself probably did not have sufficient correct infor-mation about Naju, as it has deliberately ignored Naju ever since the beginning of the messages and miracles there. The "official" investigation of Naju by the Kwangju Archdiocese was an infa-mous example of a perfunctory and hypocritical examination of anything by the Church authority. The only purpose that the Kwangju Archdiocese had regarding this letter from the CDF was to use it for covering up the shortcomings and errors in its own investigation of Naju and its Declaration, and thus to threaten the faithful to keep their mouths shut before the authority of the Holy See and unconditionally accept the Kwangju Declaration. The consequence of this has been that the numerous members of the Church in Korea and abroad have been denied access to the full truths about Naju and the undistorted teachings of the Church on the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Mother in particular. It seems that the misuse of the CDF letter by the Kwangju priests needs to be clearly and publicly denounced to protect the inviolable integrity of the Holy See. We also realize the danger that when some priests in local churches become extremely powerful even to the extent of strongly influencing or even controlling their bishops, they may become vulnerable to the temptation to seek more independence from the Holy See and to run their churches according to their likings. It is also unlikely that these priests will send reports and requests to the Holy See that correctly reflect the real conditions and needs in their local churches. Sometimes, we are appalled to hear some priests and lay people in Korea utter, "The Pope is the Bishop of Rome. We have our own Bishop." We did not hear such expressions in the past.

What we seek is a healthier universal Church firmly united under the Holy Father and genuinely faithful to her mission from the Lord to evangelize and reform the world according to the authentic teachings and traditions of the Church instead of wasting energy on seeking new ways of accommodating to the secular world and implementing more humanly-motivated reforms.

 

We declare that all the information contained in this paper is true and correct to the best of our knowledge and conscience. This information comes from our own experience and observation as well as from the official media and websites of the Catholic Church in Korea and the testimonies of reliable individuals. We recognize that some of the information in this paper may be of sensitive nature. We have no intention to widely propagate such information. If requested by the CDF, we are willing to provide more details about the sources of the information, provided that the identity and status of the individuals involved can be protected.

 

 

Benedict Sang M. Lee

Director

Mary's Touch By Mail

Gresham, Oregon, U. S. A.

February 11, 2009


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