02/12/2007, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Call to comfort those at the end of life from World Day of the Sick

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
The president of the Episcopal Health Conference, Mgr Lazzaro You Heung-sik, told AsiaNews about celebrations for the World Day of the Sick that were held in Seoul. He talked about a renewed stimulus for coexistence, not least with marginalized people. There was an evening with youth that gave hope for the future.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – It is “with the message of Christ” that the Church “seeks to find for each one his or her place, although this implies bringing about a transformation of social thought so that marginalized people will be accepted.” From this perspective, the World Day of the Sick in Seoul “was a success. Thanks to the message and words of the Pope, it was possible to perceive the emergence of social co-existence that was not there before, not only in the community of the faithful but among all society.” This is what the bishop of Daejon and president of the Episcopal Health Conference, Mgr Lazzaro You Heung-sik, told AsiaNews about celebrations for the Day that came to a close in the South Korean capital yesterday.

The bishop said: “This social transformation, necessary but often absent, must be sought after not only by the Church but by all mankind. It is fundamental that people manage to find the right values, rediscovering the joy of being together with marginalized people.” This is why, he continued, “the message of the pope, who called for the promotion of initiatives and policies that offer suffering people, especially terminally ill people, the conditions to face incurable sicknesses and death with dignity, seems to me to be the best possible appeal. There is no need to give in to discomfort in the face of sickness or to distance those who no longer have any hope.”

Mgr You said the three days of celebrations “were full of joy and, in my view, a real success. The Health Minister and mayor of Seoul attended the inauguration on 9 February and they praised the initiative promoted by the universal Church.”

Especially touching was “the visit the following day to a Catholic hospital that treats sick people free of charge. I believe this to be a very good example of evangelization.”

On the last day, “after having listened with joy and emotion to the words of the pope at the Angelus, we gathered for a grand performance in the Sports Palace of Seoul, in which 6,000 young volunteers participated. It was a time of singing and experiences shared by youth with disabilities to educate their peers. Perhaps this was the most beautiful moment, because it made us look to the future with serenity.”

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