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November 2, 2007

  1. 1. In late July 2005, I received a phone call from Mr. Chad Cohen at National Geographic in Washington D.C., informing me that his company was interested in producing a new video on Naju.  I had not known him before; nor had I been seeking such an opportunity.  Mr. Cohen asked me to help him by lending him the publications and videos on Naju and also by arranging an interview with Mrs. Julia Kim.  He mentioned that he was doing this project in consultation with the Holy See.  I was delighted to hear that, thinking that the Holy See probably was becoming more deeply involved in the question of Naju.

    About a month later, Mr. Cohen and his crew visited Naju and, in December 2005, a video was produced and aired through the National Geographic TV channel.  Some of the viewers of this video, however, expressed disappointment because of its biased judgment and insinuation about Naju and the phenomena of the Stigmata in general.  The video portrayed Naju as a probable case of using unreliable miracles for increasing individuals’ wealth. 

    Mr. Cohen said that he had sent a copy of this video to the Holy See.  He said “Sorry” to me for the negative portrayal of Naju in the video, contrary to the impression he had given me during the preparation stage.  Later, I began having some questions in my mind about who in the Holy See were advising or directing himI also remembered the repeated assertions by the priests in the Kwangju Archdiocese in Korea that they had been in close consultation with the Holy See before issuing their negative declaration on Naju on January 1, 1998.  In Naju, the Blessed Mother warned us of the enemies in the Church:  “the operations of freemasons, which have penetrated deeply into the heart of the Church, have been so persistent and tenacious that the Pope is strenuously fighting a lonely and extremely difficult and dangerous battle with little help from others” (June 30, 2007).
      I also had serious doubts about National Geographic’s qualification as an evaluator of the potentially supernatural phenomena closely based on the Catholic Faith.  I was also disappointed about the video, but did not take it seriously until recently, when a similar event took place, this time in Korea.

  2. On October 31, 2007, Mr. Sang-Gwang Oh and his crew from Munhwa Broadcasting Company (MBC) in Seoul came to Naju after obtaining permission by phone from Julia Kim.  MBC is the second-largest TV network in Korea after the publicly-owned KBS.  The purpose of their visit was “an in-depth investigation” of what was happening in Naju, but it soon became clear that their real purpose was to collect as much video and other information as possible as “evidence” in support of their pre-conceived or pre-infused suspicions and accusations against Naju.  Even before they began their visit, they were already strongly biased with prejudices against everything in Naju.  They said that they had already interviewed Archbishop Andrew Choi of Kwangju and several priests who had been the leading opponents of Naju including Fr. Alberto Yong-Joo Chang, a key member of the Naju investigation committee of the Kwangju Archdiocese opposing Naju, and Fr. Luke Hong-Chul Song, the former Naju Pastor, who wielded his power to extreme degrees in criticizing Naju and persecuting the pilgrims.  Fr. Song is the priest who told Julio Kim, Julia’s husband, that Julia and her family would be allowed back into the parish, only if she publicly announced that she had been fabricating the messages and miracles and promised that she would never do it again.   Mr. Oh and his TV crew were treating Julia and others in Naju as a rebellious and heretical group of Catholics who disobeyed the Church authority and pursued their wealth by promoting false miracles.  Our questions and complaints about this sudden visit by the MBC crew are many.  Among them:

    1. For any investigation to be objective and correct, it must be conducted without prejudice or external influence.  These TV crew from MBC were completely prejudiced after hearing the false testimonies from the opponents of Naju.  They conducted the investigation with a pre-determined conclusion and behaved like prosecutors questioning criminals.

    1. It seems reasonable to suspect that the TV crew’s prejudice against Naju arose from or became stronger by their visits to the Kwangju Archbishop and priests before they came to Naju.  Some of the opponents of Naju may even have asked MBC to undertake this investigation for the purpose of destroying the reputation of Naju.  We received a report that this arrangement had actually been made by the Priests for Social Justice, which is an organization of the priests in Korea who get actively involved in the political and social issues in line with the liberation theology.  At this time, we do not have further information to confirm this report.

    1. The MBC crew not only spent several days in Kwangju and Naju but also went to Indonesia to see the Cardinal in Jakarta, who is opposed to Naju, and to see others similarly inclined.  They also sought to confirm a rumor that funds had been sent from Naju to Indonesia to promote pilgrimages to Naju.  They learned that this rumor was totally groundless.  It seems difficult to understand how a profit-oriented private enterprise like MBC was motivated to undertake such an expensive project.

    1. These MBC people do not have expert knowledge about Catholic teachings, medicine, psychology, etc.  How can they claim to be qualified to conduct a reliable investigation of Naju?  They even asked Julia to give them some of the most precious evidence of the miracles in Naju such as the Lord’s Precious Blood that had descended from above, moved, and repeatedly liquefied and coagulated.  Even if they ordered a DNA test in Seoul, how could anyone trust their test results considering their strong bias?  Were they just trying to get rid of some of the evidence from Naju?  Julia, of course, refused to comply with their requests.

    2. The MBC people also tried hard to confirm the rumor that Julia was doing all this for her wealth, but did not succeed.  Before the miracles in Naju began, Julia had been running a beauty parlor in Naju.  Because her reputation was known widely, she had more customers than she and her employees could handle.  If she had stayed in that business instead of giving it up to be consecrated to the work for the Lord and the Blessed Mother, she would easily have become very wealthy.  The only assets that Julia has prepared with donations so far are the Blessed Mother’s chapel and the land, or the mountain where there are a temporary vinyl chapel, the miraculous spring, the Way of the Cross, a replica of Mt. Calvary, and more space for parking and side buildings that may be needed beside the main church after the approval.  Julia repeatedly said that this mountain, the Blessed Mother’s chapel, and all other assets acquired with donations will be handed over to the Church when Naju is re-investigated and approved by the Church.  There is simply no truth to the rumor that Julia is seeking wealth.

What we really need is not another amateur “investigation” that miserably falls short of the standards worthy of the Church but a true, objective, and professional re-investigation authorized by the Church.  Considering the blind opposition against Naju by many of the Korean clergy and the widespread modernism and false ecumenism among them, it seems unlikely that another investigation of Naju by the Koreans will lead to any results that are objectively and professionally reliable and, thus, acceptable to the Lord and the Blessed Mother.  For this reason, we eagerly petition for a new investigation by individuals directly chosen by the Holy See.  Our Lady said in Naju that the signs given in Naju are for the whole Church (July 13, 1997).  Therefore, direct involvement in and management of Naju by the Holy See is not only justified but most appropriate and proper.  This age, we believe, is a unique, golden opportunity for a true reform of the Church and a worldwide revitalization of the missionary efforts.  Naju is an extremely powerful, and probably the last, assistance from God that we cannot afford to waste.  The resistance may remain strong, but this cannot be a valid excuse for another long delay and inaction.  Already too much has been lost because of the obstacles laid by the opponents who are not interested in seeking God’s Will but are busy with their human agenda.

Despite the many difficulties, we are neither disturbed nor depressed.  The following messages from the Blessed Mother through Fr. Stefano Gobbi are another encouragement for our hope:

But from here (Korea) my light and my victory will spread and will cover all the nations of this great continent of Asia” (September 27, 1987 in Seoul).

Korea is a land particularly loved and protected by me; it is the garden in which your heavenly Mother gives extraordinary signs of her continual presence among you.  I am leading you along the road of unity and peace.  This unity and peace will come to your Church and to your Fatherland as a special gift of my Immaculate Heart” (October 31, 1996 in Seoul).

Benedict Sang M. Lee
Mary’s Touch By Mail

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