National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Seoul, South Korea

Hundreds brave rain to try to get final glimpse of pope in South Korea

Hundreds of Catholic faithful and non-Catholic admirers of Pope Francis braved the pouring rain to try to get a glimpse of him outside his final Mass before he left South Korea.

On a street in the popular shopping district of Myongdong, in downtown Seoul, people jostled each other with umbrellas. A video monitor was set up, but it faced just one side of the block. The bystanders were all hoping for a glimpse of Pope Francis at the end of the Mass Monday for peace and reconciliation, when he was expected to pass by in a covered vehicle in the downpour.

Preview: South Korean president turns blind eye to off-track horse betting across from her old Catholic high school

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“It’s really all about money,” Sacred Heart Korea Provincial Sr. Kim Young Ae, said. “It’s the worship of money.”

She spoke with both anger and contempt as she pointed upward, standing in front of a tall modern looking building erected just 230 meters from the Sacred Heart Girls High School.

The problem is not the building. The problem is what the building is being used for – to house the offices of the Korea Racing Authority, three floors of which will be used for off-track betting on horse racing.

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.

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.

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September 12-25, 2014

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