Participants of the Asian Youth Academy
and Asian Theology Forum 2012
Suwon, South Korea
November 2-15, 2012
We, the lay, religious, deacons, priests, and bishop, gathered in Suwon, South Korea from November 2 to 15 2012, participated in the Asian Youth Academy (AYA) and the Asian Theology Forum 2012 (ATF). We are 34 in all: 15 lay, 3 religious sisters, 1 bishop, 10 priests and 12 deacons. We come from 14 countries namely, South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, India, and Ireland. There were 12 resource speakers in conference.
This conference was organized by Woori Theology Institute (WTI) based in Seoul and sponsored by the Justice and Peace Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK), and the Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women (AMSRW), in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Opening of the Second Vatican Council.
The conference has the following objectives for its participants:
- To rediscover one’s Christian identity amid the globalized world but, at the same time, respecting the “otherness” of people
- To be “contemplative activists” or “organic intellectuals” equipped well with socio-political awareness, Catholic Social Teachings, the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC)
- To develop in the youth the ability to analyze socio-economic issue and to deepen theological thought and knowledge of the society and the Church of Asia
- To serve better the local Church and the society by responding to the urgent issues in Asia especially to six pastoral priorities identified by FABC, namely, migrants, women/children, family, indigenous peoples, youth and ecology
Our reflection led us to discover that:
- There is a need to empower the youth by providing adequate faith formation particularly in the Catholic Social Teachings. Through this, they can respond effectively to the current social, political, economic, and other human rights issues.
- In order for the Church to respond effectively to the challenges of the times, there must be a mutual cooperation of the hierarchy and the laity especially with those at the grassroots of society.
- We must unite and be in solidarity with one another by building a network among ourselves and with other organizations in doing social action. The Basic Ecclesial Communities is the seed of this networking.
- We live in an interdependent reality, where everything is connected to one another like humans and nature, God and creation, cultures and religions. Thus, we must recognize and respect the relationships present in this world.
- Asians live in a diverse and pluralistic context in terms of cultures and religions. It is not a curse or burden, but a gift to be embraced. There are more things that unite us as Asians than what separate us.
- Humans have inherent rights and duties because we are created in the image and likeness of God, according to Catholic Social Teachings. Thus, human life is important and precious and should not be treated as a commodity. In the new Cosmology, however, we learned that all created things are also important since they reflect God in their own unique way.
- Despite the abject poverty in many Asian countries, governments use tax money for militarization and nuclear armament. Hence, we have the duty to build a peace and justice movement with special focus on Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
- The See-Judge-Act methodology is a relevant tool to empower people to respond to social issues. But, seeing is a crucial element in this tool because it is in our way of seeing that we judge and respond to these issues meaningfully and effectively.
- The way towards holiness is not separation or detachment from the world, but holiness is through earthiness, that is, finding God in creation. Thus, it is recognizing that we live in a sacred reality.
- Integral Spirituality challenges us to be contemplative activists. Being prayerful is an integral part of working for social change, and vice versa.
After analysing the various social issues and interpreting them through the Social Teachings of the Church, we, now, respond concretely to the signs of the times by:
- Involving ourselves in uplifting the lives of the poor and the oppressed through movement building to realize the reign of God (companionship of empowerment) on earth.
- Nourishing the faith of the youth through lectures on Catholic Social Teachings, motivational sessions, creative media, arts, team building and peace-oriented games, faith sharing, and bible study.
- Involving the youth in social realities by holding exposure and immersion activities, like living with the poor, visiting charitable institutions, and encouraging them to do acts of kindness and justice every day.
- Equipping the laity with the ability to analyse economic, social, cultural, and political situations by organizing training workshops on Catholic Social Teachings and on Human Rights.
- Promoting the role of the religious and young laypersons as they work together to respond to socio-economic and political issues of the country.
- Creating a network using social networking websites that will continue and expand our advocacy for Justice, Peace, and Ecology. Through this network, we can share resources, invite members, update one another regarding the situation of our respective countries, and even provide spiritual support by praying for one another.
- Proposing to the bishops’ conference to issue pastoral letters, statements, or position papers in response to the realities of human rights violation, armed conflicts, ecological problems, poverty, corruption and others.
- Coordinating our activities with our local Churches, parishes, civil organizations, and government agencies.
- ACTION PLANS
- South Korea
Sr. Lucia Moon (Notre Dame Eco-Spirituality Center)
Fr. Kim Jun-Han
Fr. Kim Jung-Yong
Fr. Yang Gi-Seok
Fr. Choi Jae-Yong
Mr. Cho Dae-won
Ms. Naomi Mi Haishaung (Jinde Charities)
Sr. Maria Wang (Jinde Elderly Home)
Bishop Matsuura Goro
Ms. Alice Yeung (Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong)
Mr. Sinapan Samydorai
Fr. Gerald Pho Khwa (National Catholic Youth Coordinator, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar)
Mr. Maung John (Agency for Basic Community Development)
Ms. Rosa Phyo Wai Lwin (Agency for Basic Community Development)
Ms. Monica Ei Ei Lwin (Archdiocese Youth Apostolate- Archdiocese of Yangon)
Mr. Jaime L. Villafuerte IV (Miriam College)
Ms. Leah Czarina A. Guevarra (Miriam College)
Fr. Reynaldo Raluto (St. John Vianney Theological Seminary)
Ms. Kristina Viri (YAPPIKA-Civil Society Alliance for Democracy and Kampus Orang Muda Jakarta-KOMJAK)
Fr. John Mansford Prior, SVD
Ms. Erlinda Cloudie Joseph (CAN-Community Action Network, ICMICA)
Ms. Amanda Leonie Benedick (CAN-Community Action Network, ICMICA)
Ms. Manisha Shakya (ICAN-Integrated Community Action Nepal)
Ms. Bindu Shilacar (ICAN-Integrated Community Action Nepal)
Fr. Nithiya Sagayam (FABC, Udhayam Capuchin Peace Centre)
Sr. Mariola Dsouza (Bethany)
Fr. Felix Wilfred
Fr. Michael Amaladoss
Ms. Rubina Shaheen Bhatti (Youth Development Foundation)
Mr. Karamat Jameel (Youth Development Foundation)
Fr. R.W. Timm, CSC
Fr. Diarmuid O’Murchu
<Vatican Ⅱ, Ecological Crisis and Peace of Aisa>, Seoul : WTI 2013