Catholics in South Korea have donated just over £700,000 to the Vatican’s special fund to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines for poor nations and communities across the globe.
The Archdiocese of Seoul in the national capital raised the donations in response to the Vatican’s appeal for a global vaccine-sharing programme, especially for impoverished countries.
The archdiocese kicked off the donation drive in March and raised the funds from 234 parishes and organisations in Seoul. The campaign was co-ordinated by One Body One Spirit (OBOS), a faith-based pro-life ecclesial movement launched following the 44th International Eucharistic Congress in Seoul in 1989.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea launched the vaccine-sharing campaign at its general assembly from March 8th-12th.
In addition, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, (pictured) made a special appeal to the faithful to make donations for the vaccine-sharing programme.
“We are living through difficult times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for those who live in poverty. It is the weak and the poor suffering the most when a crisis hits. Therefore, I would like to turn this crisis into an opportunity to show our solidarity with parishes, organisations, congregations around the world and lend a helping hand to those in need,” Cardinal Yeom said earlier.
Fr Matthias Young-yup Hur, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Seoul, noted that the faithful in Seoul are committed to helping overcome obstacles posed by the pandemic.
“We are very concerned about the fact that the gap between rich and poor countries has widened during the coronavirus pandemic. All the faithful in Seoul sincerely hope that this fundraising campaign will be a small step to overcoming obstacles together,” Fr Mathias said in a statement on 4th June.
The fundraising campaign in Korea will continue until 27th November, the final day of celebrations of the 200th birth anniversary of St Andrew Kim Taegon, the first native Korean Catholic priest and patron saint of Korea.