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Korean archbishop declares alleged Marian visionary excommunicated

SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- A South Korean archbishop said an alleged Marian
visionary and her followers have been excommunicated automatically.

Archbishop Andreas Choi Chang-mou of Kwangju issued the decree Jan. 21, saying
"for Christians' healthy faith life and the unity and communion of the church, I declare
as such, though my heart grieves."

The decree was released to all dioceses and media Jan. 23, reported the Asian church
news agency UCA News.

The Kwangju Archdiocese issued directives in 1998, 2003 and 2005 banning Catholics
from visiting and participating in ceremonies in Naju, South Korea. The Korean
bishops' conference supported the archdiocese.

Archbishop Choi said he met with Julia Youn, 60, and her husband in Naju in 2003 to
warn them against promoting the alleged apparitions and later gave her a final
warning in 2005, but they did not modify their actions. The excommunication was not
imposed by judgment but automatically results from an action that places one outside
the community of faith, Archbishop Choi said.

"Rather, they speak as if the Holy Father approves them," the archbishop said. "They
libel me, the Korean bishops and the Korean church through their publications and the

These actions prove "Julia Youn and her followers have no will to reconcile with the
Catholic Church," he said.

"Therefore those clergy, religious and laity who preside at or participate in sacraments
and liturgical ceremonies in their ... chapel and Marian shrine in Naju, which I have
banned, incur automatic excommunication," he said.

According to the Web site created by Youn's followers -- www.najumary.or.kr --
Youn has received Marian revelations since her statue of Mary started weeping in
1985. After that, Youn and her followers established Blessed Mother's Mountain in

Youn's followers have responded to the excommunication decree by denouncing it as
the "worst measure" and a "heretical error."

Tags: Naju




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