November 19, 2007 - The Position of the Archdiocese of Kwangju in relation to the Matter of Julia Yoon of Naju and its related Phenomena
Confession of Faith and Life of Faith
1. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7,15-17). These words in the Bible were the teaching of Jesus to his people to make them know a criteria to discern true prophets and false prophets. For us, Christians of today, who confess and announce Jesus as our Savior and the Light of the World, these words are the guidance for our right confession of faith and balanced life of faith because they are urging us to continual self-examination and renewal.
2. The balance and harmony between the confession of faith and the life of faith are achieved in the unity and communion with the Church community, on the basis of the self-examination of each faithful. For this, the Church community celebrates the liturgy in virtue of Christ's priesthood (cf. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.7), serves the faithful to make them live what they received in faith through the Magesteirum, namely "listening to the word of God devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit." (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, n.10), and recommends piety activities, which correspond to the Church's law and rules and are in harmony with the liturgy (cf. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, nn.10.13). The early Christian communities "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (...) praising God and having the good-will of all the people" (Acts 2,42-47).
False realities and efforts for discernment
3. The report of MBC TV program on current affairs, 'PD Sucheop (notebook)', which was broadcasted on November 13, 2007, with the title of "Is it a miracle or a fraud? - the truth of the Blessed Mary Garden in Naju) can be meaningful because it showed us, even partly, the false realities of the matter of Julia Yoon of Naju and its related phenomena, of which the Archdiocese of Kwangju has had a concern and asked for God's mercy. In fact, a good few many Catholics and non-Catholics have expressed their disappointment about the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Kwangju in relation to the way of coping with the matter and urged strong measures of the Archdiocese to punish some priests who support and side with Julia Yoon of Naju.
4. The Archdiocese has coped carefully with the false phenomena from the beginning that is to say the rumor of strange phenomenon (since June 1985) of the Blessed Mother Statue possessed by Julia Yoon and her sister, through the propaganda of the so-called 'miracle' and 'the message of Our Lady', to the diffusion of the so-called 'Holy Eucharistic miracle', which had been increasingly spread. For some, this prudence of the Archdiocese is sometimes interpreted as a laissz-faire, non confrontation or powerlessness. Respectively, Julia Yoon of Naju and her surrounders have strengthened their position by presenting their arbitrary interpretation mobilizing all kinds of theological theories and by using purposely the curiosity and generosity of some priests through Mass Communication. Unfortunately, in spite of the official position and instruction given by the Holy See and the Archdiocese of Kwangju regarding to this matter, they have distorted or refused the fact. One priest who belongs to the Archdiocese of Kwangju and some priests from the other dioceses or religious orders (including foreigners) as well some laity (most of them are mobilized from other regions) side with them and attend their regular gatherings.
5. The Archdiocese has taken a series of measures: 1) the announcement of a notification (on the basis of the result from the Investigation Committee established in 1995) made in 1998 by the Most Rev. Youn Kong-hi, the Archbishop of the day; 2) the announcement of second notification; 3) three times of meeting and talking of the present Archbishop Andrea Choi Chang-mou with Julia Yoon and her husband in 2003 (in the Naju Church, in the Archdiocesan Curia, and in the place which is the so-called 'chapel' and the 'Blessed Mary Garden', where the Archbishop Choi demanded them the obedience to the notifications, the stop of gatherings and ceremonies, the observance of the faithful's duty and the opening of the money collected from the faithful and its expenditure to the public.); 4) the Archbishop's third notification in 2005 (which defines the disobedience to the Ordinary Bishop as having nothing to with the Catholic Church and as an act destroying the unity of the Church). Together with this, from 2001 to 2005 the parish priest and the faithful of the Naju Church carried out the discernment work of false acts of Julia Yoon and her surrounders despite their disturbance activities, by establishing a commission executing the Archbishop's notifications, by publishing a booklet titled 'The reason that the matters related to Julia Yoon's Blessed Mary Statue have nothing to do with the Catholic Church', and by promoting the historical site of Martyrs in Naju. That was the best efforts made by the Archdiocese as a community of faith. In this process, an incardinated priest who follows Julia Yoon and adheres to the related situation was placed under suspension of sacramental ministries and promised his bishop to break the relationship with them. However, this promise was not kept and the priest continued to have relationship with them. After all, he was put into the situation of 'waiting' (limits of pastoral care) by the appointment announcement (of June 12, 2007, N.4) of the diocesan priests in 2007. Nevertheless, this priest believes and follows the allegation of Julia Yoon and her surrounders, and futhermore manifests his will to die as a martyr. (His statement in the Diocesan Chapter on June 1, 2007 and in the talking with the Ordinary Bishop on June 21, 2007).
"The fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for every thing that becomes visible is light." (Eph 5,9-13)
The Wish of the Archdiocese for the right and balanced Life of Faith
6. "The cult of the people of God toward Mary wonderfully increased in veneration and love, in invocation and imitation. (...) This cult, as it always existed, although it is altogether singular, differs essentially from the cult of adoration which is offered to the Incarnate Word, as well to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and it is most favorable to it. (...) Let the faithful remember moreover that true devotion consists neither in sterile or transitory affection, nor in a certain vain credulity, but proceeds from true faith" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, nn.66-67).
1) The Archdiocese of Kwangju reconfirms that the matter of Julia Yoon and its related phenomena, all gatherings and ceremonies carried out arbitrarily by Julia Yoon and her surrounders in the so-called 'chapel' and the 'Blessed Mary Garden', out of the boundary of the Church where the official liturgy of the Catholic Church is celebrated have no connection with the Catholic Church. It defines these acts inappropriate because they make a pretense of acts of faith, disregard and disobey the Magesterium of the Church, and deviate from the right acts of faith by their false belief.
2) The Archdiocese deplores the reaction of Julia Yoon and her surrounders, who do not follow the recommendation of the Ordinary Bishop's pastoral exhortation, but instead abuse it with an arbitrariness and ignorance. The Archdiocese wants them to recover the way that the believers should be and return to the communion and unity of the Church Community as soon as possible, which comes from the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
3) The Archdiocese will bring the incardinated priest to book in an appropriate way, who expressed on TV program 'PD Sucheop (notebook)' his belief in so-called 'miracle water' and 'Yul-sin-aek' (the which springs out the so-called 'Blessed Mother Garden' Yul-Sin-Aek (the liquid through the kidney of Julia = the urine of Julia) and 'the phenomena related with Julia Yoon'. (Any priest who makes an interview under a false name and celebrates an illegal ceremony on the spot commits an unjust act against the Magesterium).
4) The Archdiocese reaffirms what is said in the notifications of the Ordianry Bishop, which were announced three times (See 'the Church's teaching related with Julia Yoon on the diocesan website.). The Archdiocese clarifies that the allegation and diffusion of the so-called 'miracle' or 'private revelation' have no connection with the Catholic Church, and warns that the visiting to the place and the celebration of ritual acts of any clergy, religious or laity, no matter which diocese or religious order they belong to, are the acts destroying the Church law and the hierarchical order, and thus announces a ban of all visitings and ritual acts on the spot.
7. "While Christ, holy, innocent and undefiled((Hebr. 7,26) knew nothing of sin, (2 Cor. 5, 21), but came to expiate only the sins of the people, (Hebr. 2,17), the Church, embracing in its bosom sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always follows the way of penance and renewal" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium n.8). The Archdiocese will do its best as a community of faith for the balanced life of faith of the faithful and pray for Julia Yoon and her surrounders so that they can recover the way that the believers should be. It also urges some clergy, religious and laity, who adhere to Julia Yoon and the related phenomena with a just curiosity or a personal belief, to make an evangelical discernment deriving from the sense of faith (fidei sensus) and to accept the pastoral guideline contained in the notifications with their faith.
"If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that 'every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt 18,15-18)
November 19, 2007
Archdiocese of Kwangju