South Korea has invited members of the Catholic community of North Korea to participate in the Mass that Pope Francis will celebrate in Seoul during his visit to South Korea, set for Aug. 14 to 18, according to Fides News.
The move was confirmed by Fr. John Bosco Byeon, Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Korea and Under Secretary of the Korean Episcopal Conference. According to the reports, South Korean Catholics met North Korean Catholics in Shenyang, China May 18th and 19th, and invited them to attend the papal Mass.
Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul on Aug. 18 and will deliver a message of peace for the Korean peninsula.According to South Korean government officials, the North Korean representatives said they will carefully consider the invitation.Fides also reported that on May 21, Cardinal Andres Yeom Soo- jung, Archbishop of Seoul, visited North Korea to meet with Catholics. The cardinal expressed the hope to continue the dialogue between the two Koreas to promote peace.
Pope Francis is the second Pope to visit Korea after Pope John Paul II, who came to Korea in 1984 and 1989.
Fides is the news agency for the Vatican Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith.