In his message, the Apostolic Nuncio for South Korea Mgr. Alfred Xuereb spoke about how the challenges of the language barrier and the elements in missions to South Korea and Mongolia are significant, but missionaries from around the world have not given up.
Mgr. Xuereb said that Pope Francis had told him that he was going to find an active Church in South Korea and Mongolia, so much so that over 100,000 adults were baptised there in 2017. He added that the Pope is revered in South Korea, where the memory of his pastoral visit in 2014 when he canonised martyrs in the region is still alive.
The Church in South Korea benefits from large popularity, even from non-Catholics, said Mgr. Xuereb. This was because in the 70s there were a number of protests and workers were fighting for their rights while seeking shelter in the Seoul Cathedral. One of the most memorable moments was when the soldiers had barged into the Cathedral to arrest the protesters and the Archbishop at the time, Cardinal Steven Kim, had stood in the doorway and told them they would have to walk over his dead body to get to them.
Mgr. Xuereb concluded by saying that after a 10 day visit to Mongolia, he saw how the Church there is in its infancy. In fact, there are only 1,300 baptised people, along with 40 missionaries and only one priest ordained from Monglia after he concluded his studies in South Korea.