UPDATE ON NAJU
Earlier this month, some pilgrims from the United States and
Germany visited Rome. To
their great surprise and joy, they saw a TV program in Rome covering
Naju. The date was May
19, Saturday. The
program included an interview with a bishop from the Vatican.
This is what the pilgrims heard him say:
in the Catholic Church are very discreet, thorough, and careful in
dealing with such matters. However, in the case of Naju, the Holy Father himself has
become a witness for a Eucharistic miracle (which occurred in the
Vatican through Julia Kim on October 31, 1995).
Also considering the simple and humble life of Julia, who has
been receiving messages and suffering pains, I think Naju now has to
be approved by the Church.”
fact that such a program was broadcast in Rome, the center of the
Catholic Church, is highly significant. The Italian tour guide said that a program like this could
not be made public in Rome without prior approval by the Vatican.
Also, it seems unlikely that the bishop was speaking only for
himself. The lady from
Germany who faxed us this information was filled with joy, saying
that the approval of Naju is now a matter of time.
Now we can see that the Holy See is making known its positive
stance on the Eucharistic miracle on October 31, 1995, witnessed by
the Holy Father. If the
Church in Korea still chooses to be negative about it, it will be
contradicting the Holy Father himself.
Also, it does not seem to be by chance that this TV program
on Naju was aired in Rome soon after the Korean bishops’ Ad
Limina visit to the Holy See in March, during which there were
discussions about Naju.
pilgrims from Los Angeles continued their journey to San Giovanni
Rotondo, where Blessed Padre Pio lived.
They report that, in the chapel above St. Michael the
Archangel’s Cave, there was an area exhibiting many of the
Eucharistic miracles in Church history.
In this exhibition, they saw a photograph of the Holy Father
witnessing a Eucharistic miracle through Julia on October 31, 1995.
This would also have been impossible without a nod from the
Holy See. After all,
the Holy Father is the Bishop of Rome, where the miracle occurred,
as well as the head of the universal church, and it is most natural
and proper that he makes his thoughts known on what happened in
Rome. In another case,
Bishop Dominic Su of Sibu, Malaysia, wrote a letter to the Apostolic
Pro-Nuncio in Korea soon after witnessing a Eucharistic miracle
through Julia in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Sibu on September 17,
1996, and, in the letter, said that he considered it a miracle.
the Holy Father is favorable on Naju has been known for quite some
Giovanni Bulaitis, the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Korea until 1997,
visited the Chapel in Naju on November 24, 1994, and witnessed
miraculous descents of the Eucharist.
Soon he made a detailed report to the Holy Father and the
Cardinals in the Holy See. We
have no doubt that the Holy See has hoped that the Church in Korea
would investigate the events in Naju in an unbiased, thorough way
and without unnecessary delays, because the messages and signs in
Naju can be powerful catalysts for revitalizing the authentic
Catholic Faith and for evangelizing the whole world, especially
Asia, which has the largest population among all the continents and
yet has been the least evangelized.
the Church in Korea has been exposed to powerful modernist
influences for the past several decades.
Especially the Kwangju Archdiocese, which covers the Naju
Parish, has been hostile to the messages and signs in Naju which
call for a revitalization of the traditional Faith and, based on it,
a renewal of everything. In
particular, the priests who belong to an organization called Priests
for Social Justice have been actively involved in the political
and social issues in Korea, neglecting the traditional Catholic
truths and devotions, and have been playing the leading role in
opposing Naju. They were also key members of the Naju investigating
committee in the Kwangju Archdiocese and succeeded in influencing
Archbishop Victorinus Yoon to issue a negative declaration on Naju
on January 1, 1998. Even
afterwards, their efforts to persecute Naju and, if possible, to put
an end to it have continued. These
liberal priests have been well aware that the Holy See is favorable
on Naju and is deeply concerned about the modernist theologians in
Korea, but have cared little about it and have continued to push
ahead with their agenda.
late 2000, Archbishop Victorinus Yoon retired and was succeeded by
Most Rev. Andrew Choi. Archbishop
Choi has been taking a moderate approach to the question of Naju.
To several priests in Korea, he said that he was not opposed
to Naju. When the
liberal priests repeatedly demanded him to close down the Chapel in
Naju, he refused to give in. After
his recent return from Rome, he invited all the priests in his
diocese who had been priests for 25 or more years to a dinner and
asked them to restrain their criticism of Naju and not to interfere
with lay people’s visiting Naju.
liberal priests in the Kwangju Archdiocese sensed a crisis rapidly
approaching them. If Naju were investigated again and approved, their
achievements in the past several decades in modernizing and
secularizing the Church in Korea would crumble.
So they approached Archbishop Choi again with much
forcefulness and, to almost everyone’s surprise, succeeded in
persuading him to sign a new document which they had prepared.
This document was read during Mass on May 27, Sunday, in
every parish of the Kwangju Archdiocese.
this document, those measures prohibiting all the activities in
support of Naju, which had already been mentioned in Archbishop
Yoon’s declaration, were reiterated.
However, there was no explanation of why such measures were
necessary; the document only called for an unconditional obedience.
There seems to be much inconsistency in the liberal
priests’ frequent criticisms of the teaching and pastoral
authority of the Holy Father and of the bishops and yet rely so
heavily on their bishop’s authority in preventing the faithful
from following their faith and conscience.
Moreover, this document did not offer any response to those
questions which have been raised about the doctrinal soundness of
Archbishop Yoon’s declaration and the fairness and adequacy of the
investigation of Naju conducted before the declaration.
example, in Archbishop Yoon’s declaration, the Eucharistic
phenomena through Julia Kim were declared to be in conflict with the
Church teaching, which, according to the declaration, says that the
species of bread and wine must remain unchanged even after the
consecration by a priest. This,
however, is a distortion of the true Church doctrine which only says
that, while the substances of bread and wine change into Our
Lord’s Flesh and Blood by the consecration by a priest, the
species of bread and wine remain unchanged (cf. DS #1652).
In other words, this doctrine explains the effects of the
Eucharistic consecration and not what can or cannot happen to the
Eucharist after the consecration.
If the Eucharistic species change into those of Flesh and
Blood by a special intervention by God, there is nothing that is in
conflict with any of the Church teachings.
The fact that a Church doctrine was distorted by the Korean
theologians in order to reject the Eucharistic miracles in Naju is
most disturbing. If the
assertion in the Kwangju declaration were correct, all of the
Eucharistic miracles in Church history would have to be rejected.
The Church also teaches that, if anyone distorts any of the
Church doctrines and persists in it, he becomes guilty of a heresy
(cf. Canon Law, #751). It becomes a dangerous problem in the Church when a doctrinal
error is sustained by the teaching authority of a bishop, which is
in fact the authority of Christ Himself.
This doctrinal problem in the Kwangju declaration has
remained uncorrected and unexplained for more than three years.
The Kwangju Archdiocese, and the whole Church in Korea which
has been supportive of Kwangju, has been failing in one of the most
basic functions of the Church, which is to preserve and teach the
truths from God.
the other hand, this negligence of a doctrinal issue seems to be no
surprise, because, to the liberal theologians, even the Church
doctrines can and must change according to the changing conditions
in the world. This
could be one reason for the repeated alterations of the wording of
prayers in Korea. A
Korean man, who seemed to be liberally-oriented, recently declared
on the Internet, “Everything in the Church changes: the liturgy
changes, prayers change, and so do the doctrines.”
From the standpoint of the liberal priests, there may not be
any doctrinal problem in the Kwangju declaration, because, to them,
there is no such thing as “the absolute, unchanging Church
teachings” according to which everything else can be measured. If their thoughts were right, Christians would truly be vain
people who place their hopes on shaky ground, without absolute,
eternal truths, without a firm faith,
and without absolute moral standards.
Then, everything will be degraded to a purely human and
secular dimension. If
the truths they believe were really from God, these truths could not
be anything but absolute and eternal.
progressive forces in Korea not only equivocate the divine origin of
the Church teachings, but also emphasize independence of the local
churches. In fact, the
Pastor of Naju, who was reading the new document from the Archbishop
to his parishioners on May 27, said, “The Kwangju Archdiocese
has a succession from the Twelve Apostles and functions as a
separate church within the Korean Church which functions as an
independent church.” This
can be interpreted as meaning that the Kwangju Archdiocese does not
need to be in union with the universal church or to be obedient to
the Holy Father. Also,
last year, a Vietnamese priest from the United States was in Naju
and went to the Naju Parish Church to celebrate Mass. He was interrupted by the associate pastor of the Naju Parish
Church, who said, “Why did you come to Naju? Do not come here any more.”
The Vietnamese priest replied, “But the Holy Father is
favorable on Naju.” The
Naju priest said, “The Holy Father is the Bishop of Rome.
We have our own Bishop here.”
This cannot be an incident that happened only in Naju. The tendency to assert local independence is widespread among
the liberal-minded people in the Church in Korea.
When they are told that what they say and write does not
conform to the authentic Church teachings and is not in harmony with
the Holy Father’s guidance, they simply don’t care.
This is a crisis facing the Church in Korea today.
the tendency to loosen their union with Rome, a dilution and
alteration of the traditional Catholic Faith has also occurred in
the name of “inculturation.”
Many now say that other religions in Korea also teach love,
mercy, and other virtues and, so, are as good as Christianity.
In saying that, they are forgetting the fundamental Christian
Faith: God created humans and infused the supernatural (divine) life
into their souls for their eternal participation in God’s Life and
Kingdom; but humans have lost that life and brought about many evils
into their world by committing sin which represented a breach of
faith with God; God sent His Only Son to become one among us and
save us by His Death; and we need to constantly strive for our
sanctification, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the
People of God, by avoiding sins, practicing love, and offering up
reparations with the help of the graces merited by Christ for us.
The essence of Christianity is a personal, covenantal
relationship, a relationship of total love and trust, between God
and us as the Father and His sons and the King and His subjects.
It is not merely a natural human effort toward personal
improvement and purification without reference to the personal,
supernatural God Who is infinitely good and has sent His Son for our
salvation. There also
is a growing tendency among the Korean Catholics to regard the
Protestant churches as being equal to the Catholic Church.
To them, unity between Catholics and Protestants seems to be
a supreme goal, or a grand pretext, that can justify even doctrinal
alterations. In fact, the theologian who wrote Archbishop Yoon’s
declaration published an article afterwards (March 1998), in which
he said that the Eucharistic phenomena through Julia Kim were
rejected for the sake of unity with Protestants.
It is doubtful that there is matching enthusiasm on the
Protestant side in Korea for unity with Catholics.
Will they or anyone have much respect for those who are
willing to abandon their principles and beliefs?
many such compromises and betrayals have already been made during
the past several decades in Korea (and elsewhere).
For example, a large majority of the Catholics do not seem to
have a true faith in the Holy Eucharist; the Marian devotion is
often pushed aside for fear of ridicule by the Protestants or other
Catholics; beautiful statues have been removed or replaced by more
abstract, modernistic ones; loyalty and obedience to the Pope are
often viewed as old-fashioned; and those things that the Holy Father
has denounced in a definitive way such as female priesthood and
abolition of celibacy for priests are openly discussed and
progressive theologians in Korea even deny that the Church was
established by Christ and is the Mystical Body of Christ (They say
that the Church is a community of people who follow the Holy
equivocate the full divinity of Christ while highlighting His
humanity, even calling Him a mortal being who needed enlightenment
by the Holy Spirit. They not only reject the miracles in Naju but also ignore
those recorded in the Scripture as educational fictions. Under their influence, the Church in Korea even began to
allow the ritual of ancestor worship which is an old tradition in
Korea but is not in harmony with the Catholic Faith and is an insult
to many of the Korean martyrs who were killed because of their
refusal to practice it. The
Holy See has repeatedly emphasized that communicants must be free to
choose the method of receiving Communion, either on tongue or in
hand, but the Church in Korea has been disobedient to the Holy
See’s guidance by making communion in hand virtually mandatory.
Under the pretext that genuflection does not conform to the
culture in Korea, the traditional Catholic practice of genuflecting
before the Blessed Sacrament has been done away with.
Even the priests in Mass only bow after Eucharistic
consecration. The true
fact, however, is that kneeling is not only not nonconforming with
the Korean culture, a complete kneeling with both knees plus a total
prostration on the floor is a common practice even today to express
a deep respect to the king, elderly relatives, teachers, and so on.
The Eucharist is Christ Himself, Who is God the Son become
incarnate, the Creator, and the King of Heaven and earth. Even the
traditional Korean way of prostrating would be insufficient to give
enough homage and adoration to Our Lord.
Bowing only, which people in the Orient do even between
equals, and not bending one’s legs before Our Lord in the Blessed
Sacrament may be due to a lack of the true faith in the Incarnate
God really present in the Eucharist.
Also, many of the precious lives of the Saints have long
since disappeared from the Catholic bookstores.
To the modernists, the Saints are not particularly inspiring
underlying cause of all these problems in Korea seems to be twofold:
disloyalty to the traditional, authentic Catholic Faith, our
Heritage of the Faith, and disloyalty to the Holy Father, the rock
upon which Christ built His Church.
When one refuses to follow the signposts given by the Lord
and stay on the rock chosen by the Lord, disorder will necessarily
we are being given a golden opportunity to resolve the problems in
the Church, not only in Korea but elsewhere, and to make a rapid
progress in evangelizing the world, especially Asia.
This opportunity is the Blessed Mother’s loving presence
being manifested especially in Naju.
The Blessed Mother is the only one among humans who has
followed God’s Will so perfectly and so filled with love and
humility. She can drive
out all the evils from our minds and hearts and fill them with her
love for God and obedience to His Will.
After all, God’s Will alone is good and needs to be done;
we can only participate in His Goodness by doing His Will.
By accepting the love and help of the Blessed Mother, who is
the shortcut to the Lord, and passing this on to our neighbors, we
will be faithful sons and daughters of hers and will be repaying a
tiniest portion of God’s boundless love for us.
And the world will avoid a crisis.
This spiritual war will continue until the Blessed Mother’s
complete victory over the devil.
The silent majority in the Church who have been longing to
see restoration of the true Catholic Faith and devotions must now
stand up and help the Blessed Mother with their prayers and
Spanish edition of the Messages of Love will
be available within a few months!
translation has been completed in Mexico and has been reviewed by an
Archbishop in Peru (who visited Naju two years ago), several
priests, and lay people. It
will have more than 400 pages and many color photographs.
There will be further notice when the book becomes available.
People in Mexico are hoping to have a Mass in the Basilica in
Mexico City (in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe) celebrating the
publishing of the Spanish edition of the Naju message book, but no
plan has yet been made.