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Rome Reports

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South Korea asks Pope Francis to intervene for dialogue with North

The leader of the Episcopal Conference in South Korea personally visited the pope to present a letter, written by the new President of South Korea, Moon Jae-In. The letter was a petition for the Holy Father to help promote negotiations and dialogue between North and South Korea.  ARCH. KIM HEE-JONG Archbishop of Gwangju (South Korea) "When I presented the letter to the Holy Father, he welcomed it very much. Then he said that he would be praying for us. It also seems to me that the Holy Father will help us normalize relations between the two countries.â? The Archbishop says throughout the history of Korea, the Holy See and the pope have always helped by offering prayers, blessings and encouragement for dialogue. As such, religious leaders from the North and South will soon be joined together. ARCH. KIM HEE-JONG Archbishop of Gwangju (South Korea) "It was very difficult because there was no dialogue between us, but the new president has tried to open up dialogue. Then also in the upcoming months, religious leaders in Korea will enter North Korea to meet the heads of the religions in North Korea. So I can imagine that it is a sign to reconstruct relations between the two countries.â? Just as the Church at large promotes, the archbishop says priests in South Korea are all asking for peace and justice throughout the country, and want to reconstruct Korea through dialogue from the inside out.   ARCH. KIM HEE-JONG Archbishop of Gwangju (South Korea) "I was very worried, but it seems to me that the only solution to this serious crisis is dialogue and negotiation. Not with weapons, not with control, but to build peace we must seek a solution together.â? That is exactly what the archbishop was looking to do when he presented this letter to Pope Francis, so that when he returns to Korea, they can begin building this culture of dialogue between the two countries that are currently in conflict.  MB MG/CTV -SV -PR Up:MB