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May 10, 2008

On May 7, 2008, Fr. Aloysius Chang in Kwangju, Korea, who had long been suffering persecution for his belief in the authenticity of Naju, received a very important letter from the Apostolic Nunciature in Seoul, Korea, through the office of the Kwangju Archdiocese on May 7, 2008.  The letter was dated April 29, 2008 and contained information from the Holy See. 

Earlier, Fr. Chang was “excardinated” from his diocese by Archbishop Andrew Choi, who issued a Decree on January 21, 2008 for the purposes of (1) penalizing Fr. Chang for his continuing belief in the truthfulness of Naju in defiance of the Archbishop’s order to abandon his belief and (2) also further discouraging all the faithful not only in Korea but also in the whole world from visiting or supporting Naju with the threat of automatic excommunication, which of course vastly exceeds the legitimate authority of a diocesan Bishop.  By this Decree Fr. Chang was deprived of all his privileges as a priest in his diocese, even though he is still allowed to celebrate private Masses.  Fr. Chang immediately appealed to Archbishop Choi for removal of the penalty on him, but, upon receiving the Archbishop’s negative response, Fr. Chang made an appeal to the Holy See in person.  On February 16, 2008, Fr. Chang met Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which oversees and guides the Church in Korea (and other mission territories in the world), and was assured of a prompt review of and decision on his case.

The above-mentioned letter to Fr. Chang from the Apostolic Nunciature mentions that the work of examining the case of Naju has been moved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. This paves the way for an authoritative judgment by the Holy See on the doctrinal issues surrounding the Naju issue finally to be made.  The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples remains fully responsible for the pastoral supervision and guidance of the Catholic Church in Korea, which would include the handling of the issue of Naju as well.  However, it falls to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to examine all the messages and miracles in Naju, on the one hand, and the Kwangju Archdiocese’s decisions and arguments so far, on the other, to see if they conform to the Church teachings. 

We are happy to see this development at the Holy See, in which the doctrinal questions regarding Naju are finally being thoroughly examined at the highest level in the Church.  Ever since the Kwangju Archdiocese’s negative Declaration on Naju was issued on January 1, 1998, many priests and lay people both in Korea and abroad have been asserting that this Declaration and the subsequent documents reinforcing the Declaration contained serious doctrinal errors, especially regarding the Eucharistic miracles, and also represented misuse of the ecclesiastical authority by the Kwangju Archdiocese in refusing to provide proper pastoral care to the faithful who are drawn to the messages and signs in Naju.  Now, we can hope that the Holy See will clarify this issue and, based on it, open the door to the official recognition of Naju.  We invite all our friends to continue fervent prayers for the realization of God’s Will and the Blessed Mother’s wish and also to continue making vigorous efforts to spread the information about Naju to more people, as currently the vast majority of the people in the world, even in the Church, remain uninformed or misinformed of the facts of Naju. 

May the Lord’s blessing and the Blessed Mother’s love be with everyone!


    Benedict Sang M. Lee, Editor

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