Seoul (AsiaNews) - Caritas South Korea has decided to launch a new international service, which aims to support the poor around the world, including those of North Korea. Caritas Korea international is the first global support agency of the Korean Bishops' Conference, and aims to create a new legal reality even under the government of South.
According to Bishop Xavier Ahn Myong-ok, president of Caritas Korea, the new agency " We will work with transparency and openness to avoid misunderstanding in financial affairs and be recognized by international governments." The new body was presented last January 18 in Seoul.
Bishop Ahn said the agency will work for poor people around the world to ensure them of the basic dignity a human being is entitled to, he said. “Though the Korean Church has raised donations by establishing the Foreign Aid Sunday in January, we need more,” he said.
The president of Caritas Korea also said the agency needs to overcome challenges in promoting its foreign donation campaigns among local Catholics especially in soliciting aid to help poor North Koreans.
To deal with that, Bishop Ahn appointed Maryknoll Father Gerard Hammond to head aid for North Korea in the new organization. The new program will be essential "to carry out a campaign of donations from the faithful especially for the poor of North Korea that they need us." Father Gerard Hammond was asked to form the new group. The missionary is known for his lengthy experience with the North Koreans, a people he knows firsthand.