SEOUL (CNS): South Korea’s Catholic bishops have encouraged Pope John Paul II to visit North Korea, saying it is the wish of the South Korean people that he visit the communist north.
An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea said on August 1 that the bishops’ permanent council wrote a letter asking the Pope to visit North Korea. The letter was delivered on July 28 to the apostolic nunciature in Seoul, he said.
The official cited the bishops as saying in the letter that, “despite political and ecclesiastical obstacles, all South Koreans are looking forward to the Pope’s visit to North Korea”.
He also cited them as saying that the South Korean people were touched by the Pope’s prayers for and the Holy See’s material aid to North Koreans, who are suffering from poverty and famine.
They expressed appreciation for the Pope’s blessing and encouragement before the June 13-15 historic summit between the leaders of North and South Korea in Pyongyang, the official said.