National Catholic Reporter

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Francis in Korea

At stadium Mass, pope tells Koreans to resist materialism

Celebrating Mass before some 50,000 people, Pope Francis prayed that Christian values overcome demoralization in economically successful societies.

"The hope held out by the Gospel is the antidote to the spirit of despair that seems to grow like cancer in societies which are outwardly affluent yet often experience inner sadness and emptiness," the pope said Friday in his homily at the World Cup Stadium in Daejeon.

Francis to baptize father of Korean ferryboat victim

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Pope Francis reportedly agreed to baptize the father of one the students killed in South Korea's ferry disaster as he met with victims' relatives before a mass in the city of Daejeon today.

"At the end of the meeting, the father of a boy killed in the accident asked to be baptized," the pope's spokesman Father Federico Lombardi reportedly told reporters.

Francis to Korean bishops: 'Be one with the poor'

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   SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA -- A visibly animated Pope Francis came out strong on his first day in South Korea, telling its bishops that solidarity with the poor must be seen as “the essential element of the Christian life.”

   His words were uncompromising. This solidarity, he said, “must penetrate the hearts and minds of the faithful and be reflected in every aspect of ecclesial life.”

Seoul rally draws attention to 'comfort women'

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An estimated 2,000 Korean protesters packed the street in front of the Japanese embassy here Tuesday, again calling upon the Japanese government to formally apologize for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women, some reportedly as young as the age of 12, into sexual slavery during World War II.

For more than an hour, speaker after speaker, including the president of the committee for peace and justice in the Seoul archdiocese, Fr. Andrew Park Dong-ho, cried out for the Japanese government to acknowledge wrongdoing, to apologize and to compensate the women.

Papal Korea visit to be broadcast live for 124 hours

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There are a number of ways to follow Pope Francis' Aug. 14-18 visit to South Korea using various media sources, including my own updates on the NCR website. The best way to follow it live will be on the Station KBS, the official Korean broadcast site. It will use some of the most advanced Web broadcasting technologies.

Broadcasting will be continuous for 124 hours, representing the 124 martyrs that Pope Francis will beatify Saturday. 

Father of child who died in Korean ferry disaster: 'I beg the pope to call for investigation'

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Kim Young-oh sits under a white tent in the middle of a downtown Seoul plaza. His mission: to force the government of President Park Geun-hye to pass legislation to set up an independent investigation and prosecution for those responsible for the death of 17-year-old daughter.

Kim Yoo Min died April 16 when a Japanese-built, Korean-owned ferry capsized off the South Korean coast, taking the lives of 300, mostly secondary school students on their way to a weekend island jaunt.

He has been fasting for 30 days and is visibly very weak.

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September 12-25, 2014

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