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Catholics allowed to cross border to attend Mass. (World).

KOREA: North Korean Catholics attended Mass officially for the first time in South Korea since the peninsula was divided more than 50 years ago. Samuel Chang Jae-on, president of the Korean Roman Catholics' Association in North Korea, and 16 other Catholics of Changchung Church in Pyongyang, the communist country's capital, attended the Mass March 2 at Seoul's Myongdong Cathedral. Chang said before the Mass began that "though Catholics of Changchung Church have been without a priest they have strong faith."

The North Korean visitors, seated in a pew near the altar, bowed their heads after receiving Communion from Auxiliary Bishop Lucas Kim Un-hoe of Seoul, who presided at the Mass. As many as 1,200 South Korean Catholics also attended the Mass.

In his homily, Kim said the Mass is an important step in the national reconciliation and reunification process. He also expressed hope that the North Korean Catholic church would have priests soon. According to the Catholic association in North Korea, some 3,000 Catholics live in North Korea, but there have been no priests, nuns, brothers or seminarians since the 1950-53 Korean War.
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Title Annotation:North Korean Catholics to attend Mass in South Korea
Author:Palumbo, Eugenio
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Mar 21, 2003
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