The Prefect goes to Korea


On the occasion of the Symposium on the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium, organized by the Institute of Canon Law of the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul (Korea), attached to the Faculty of Canon Law of Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila (Philippines), Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi went to Korea on the 7th-12th of November.

The Prefect was invited to give the main speech of the Symposium by the Cardinal Andrea Yeom Soo-Jung, Archbishop of Seoul (Korea) and Grand Chancellor of the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, which was held on the 9th of November in the Aula Magna of the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese. There he met with the Director and the sixteen members of the teaching staff of the new Institute, attached to the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University (Philippines) on the 3rd of September this year. During the symposium Cardinal Versaldi personally handed over the documents of the erection of the Institute.

The Prefect in his speech spoke of the four criteria, indicated by Pope Francis, for the renewal and revival of the contribution that ecclesiastical higher education institutions must make.

And as far as the study of canon law is concerned in the light of the reform of canonical processes for the causes of declaration of nullity of marriage, the Cardinal repeated that the Congregation for Catholic Education has published an Instruction on the subject which concerns every Institute of Canon Law.

Later in his journey, the Cardinal visited the main campus of the Catholic University of Korea, where he was welcomed by the President of the Institution and the Deans of the thirteen faculties. He was invited to see the impressive and modern University library. He also went to the shrines of Korean martyrs at Seoul Cathedral and Jeoldu-san, where about 8,000 Koreans who joined the Catholic Faith were beheaded at the end of 1860.

He celebrated Holy Mass at the Major Seminary of Seoul, home of the new institute of Theology, and has visited the Archdiocese of Gwangju and the Major Seminary, the headquarters of the Catholic University of Gwangju. In the Seminary there are studding many young people preparing for the priesthood, there is also a well-trained teaching staff of 18 teachers with ecclesiastical post-graduate degrees, a well-organized study program, impressive structures and a library with over 200,000 volumes.

He also visited St. Mary's Hospital in Gangnam, which is under the administration of the Archdiocese of Seoul. On the 21st floor of the Hospital, the Director, the Chaplains and representatives of the administration explained to the Cardinal the various services provided to the 8,000 outpatients who come to the hospital every day, as well as to 1,350 hospitalized patients. The hospital is famous worldwide for its organ transplants and expertise in hematology. The institution also maintains a section for children with cancer cases, which is furnished with a child-friendly environment. There is also a palliative section for dying patients, where spiritual assistance is also given to them and their families. Priests and nuns, as well as volunteers, would serve in these two sections which are places to bear witness to the Catholic identity of the hospital and Christian charity. In addition, the hospital also collaborates with other hospitals in the country and abroad, providing funds of approximately $ 15 million for assistance to poor patients.


Follows the Discourse of Card. Giuseppe Versaldi, "La costituzione Veritatis Gaudium per il rinnovamento delle Università e Facoltà ecclesiastiche: applicazione nel campo del Diritto Canonico", 9 November 2019,  Seoul.
The homily of Card. Giuseppe Versaldi at the Major Seminary of Seoul on the  10th of November 2019.
The homily of Card. Giuseppe Versaldi at the Major Seminary of Gwangju on the 11th of November 2019.

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