"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tearful family members of victims of the ferry Sewol shared their stories with Pope Francis

[Papal Visit] Pope ‘listened, silently nodded’ to Sewol families
The Korean Herald

Pope Francis did not speak much as tearful family members of victims of the ferry Sewol shared their stories with him on Friday, but vowed to never forget the tragedy that left over 300 -- mostly high school students -- dead or missing.

“We (the families) asked the pope to urge the Korean government and the parliament to place efforts on passing a special bill on Sewol, and to embrace the father of a Sewol victim -- who is currently on a hunger strike demanding the bill to pass -- during (Saturday’s) Mass at Gwanghwamun,” said Kim Byung-kwon, a representative of the victims’ families.

The pope “silently nodded,” he added.

Their meeting took place at Daejeon World Cup Stadium shortly before the pope celebrated his first public Mass. He invited eight family members of ferry victims and two survivors for a private audience. A total of 36 survivors and relatives were invited to the Mass.

Pope Francis offers words of comfort to the family members of Sewol ferry disaster victims at Daejeon World Cup Stadium, Daejeon, Friday. (Yonhap)

Among the family members present at the meeting was Kim Hag-il, the father of high school sophomore Woon-gi who died in the April 16 disaster. Kim gave the pope a 5-kilogram cross that he had carried on a month-long, 900 kilometer walk from Ansan, where his son had attended school, to Daejeon.

“The victimized souls of the 300 lie within the cross. Please celebrate the Mass with their souls,” said Kim, to which Pope Francis answered, “Yes, I will.” He added that he would take the cross back to Rome.

The families gave him a yellow ribbon and a bracelet in memoriam of the Sewol victims. The pope wore the ribbon on his left chest throughout the Mass. They also gave the pope a letter in which they emphasized the importance of a special bill that aims to unearth the truth about the cause of the ferry disaster.

“The special bill is not about asking for money or benefits. It’s about discovering the reason behind the death of our loved ones. We hope that with a thorough investigation of the corruption that led to the disaster, no one will have to suffer the pain that we went through,” the bereaved family said in the letter.

On Thursday, the Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the pontiff would not intervene in such issues, and that he would “merely offer comfort” to the families.

On his first day here, the pope was met by four family members of the Sewol victims, who came to meet him at the airport. He said to them: “I have (the accident) deep in my mind.”

More than 600 family members of the victims are also expected to attend the beatification ceremony of 124 Korean martyrs on Saturday.

By Yoon Min-sik (minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)

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