Decree by the Ordinary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kwangju
I, Archbishop Andrew Chang-Moo Choi, carrying out the duty of the Ordinary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kwangju by virtue of the mercy and grace from God and the generous consideration and order of the Holy Father, the successor of the Apostle Peter, though it pains my heart, have no choice but to make the following pronouncement to defend the sound faith life of the Christians and the unity and fellowship in the Church community (cf. Canon #391).
First, I have reached the judgment that ‘Julia Yoon of Naju and those who believe in the phenomena associated with her do not have the intention to form unity and harmony with the Catholic Church any longer. They continue refusing to follow the Ordinary’s declarations (January 1, 1998 and May 5, 2005) and pastoral directives (May 5, 2001) and only raise objections to them. They have not followed my request and command which I made during my personal visits to the home of Julia Hong-Sun Yoon and her husband, Man-Bok Kim, together with several witnesses (March to August 2003), that they resume their ordinary faith life (such as attending Sunday Masses, going to Confession before major feast days like Christmas and Easter, and making offerings to the parish church) and present their financial records on all the funds received. They have not responded to my ultimatum in February 2005, either. They continue promoting ‘the phenomena associated with Julia Yoon of Naju’ as ‘private revelations’ or ‘miracles’, predicting the construction of the so-called ‘basilica’ to raise money, spreading the misleading information that the Holy Father and the Holy See recognize (Naju), and criticizing me, the College of Korean Bishops, and the Korean Church through printed matter and electronic media. (cf. their promotional pamphlets, books, newspapers, and Internet sites).
I make my final confirmation that such deeds of theirs are by no means the correct and balanced attitude of the faithful; nor are they the acts of sound devotions or ceremonies of worshipping God. Accordingly, I declare that the clergy, religious and lay people who hold or participate in the administration of the Sacraments or the celebrations of the Sacramentals, which I have prohibited, at the unauthorized ‘chapel’ or ‘the Blessed Mother’s Mountain’ incur the penalty of automatic excommunication (cf. Canon #1336 and 1364). As these are acts of disobedience against the Ordinary’s pastoral directives and judgments, violations of the Canon Law (cf. Canon #1369, 1371, and 1373), and refusals to form unity as well as inflictions of damage to the fellowship in the Church community, this (penalty) applies not only to the faithful who belong to the Kwangju Archdiocese but also to any of the clergy, religious, and lay people in the Catholic Church.
Second, I have confirmed that Fr. Aloysius Hong-Bin Chang of my diocese, who asserts that ‘the phenomena associated with Julia Yoon of Naju’ are ‘private revelations’ and ‘miracles’, obstinately argues that (his decision) has been ‘a choice based on his conscience’, and repeatedly reverses (his words) and violates his duty of obedience to the Ordinary, which he vowed at his ordination, depending on the circumstances, has no intention to form unity and harmony with the body of priests in the Kwangju Archdiocese any longer. In both of the personnel committee meetings (June 1, 2007 and January 15, 2008), he did not concede his assertions but was intent only on defending his own position, which revealed that he is ‘one of the believers of the phenomena associated with Julia Yoon of Naju’ rather than a priest of the diocese who is faithful to the duty of obedience that he vowed to the Ordinary (cf. Canon #273 and 278).
Accordingly, Fr. Aloysius Hong-Bin Chang no longer retains the status and rights of a priest who belongs to the Kwangju Archdiocese, and all of the special faculties for diocesan priests, which are uniform nationwide, bestowed on him at his ordination are withdrawn (cf. Canon #194, 1333, 1336, and 1371).
I pray to God that, through His infinite mercy and grace, these people will realize their past mistakes, return to the Catholic Church, receive the blessings of harmony and unity through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and participate in the correct ceremonies of worshipping God as soon as possible. Holy Mary, Mother of the Savior and our Mother, Patroness of the Church in Korea and conceived without original sin; St. Joseph; and all the martyred Saints of Korea, pray for us.
January 21, 2008
Feast of St. Agnes, virgin and martyr
Signed by Most Rev. Chang Moo Choi
Archbishop Andrew Chang-Moo Choi
Ordinary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kwangju