Archbishop Gallagher with South Korea’s Foreign Minister, Park Jin, in the Vatican (File Photo:  Aug 1 2023) 

By Vatican News

Nov 21 2023

The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States and International Organisations is visiting South Korea from 20 to 23 November on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and South Korea.

To mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and South Korea, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organisations, is visiting South Korea from 20 – 23 November. The news was announced by the Secretariat of State in a post on X.  

The visit highlights, once again, the Church’s attention to the Asian continent, which is vital to finding new paths of peace in a world torn apart by fratricidal wars. 

In addition to the institutional meetings with the Korean Prime Minister and the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Archbishop Gallagher is to speak at a Symposium organized on the occasion of the anniversary. The theme of the symposium was indicated by Pope Francis during his trip to Seoul in August 2014: “Being custodians of memory and custodians of hope”. Archbishop Gallagher will also meet informally with some members of the diplomatic corps.

Among the various religious appointments, the Archbishop will celebrate a Mass at the Seosomun Shrine, which commemorates the early Korean martyrs. One hundred and three Korean martyrs were canonized by St John Paul II at the site on 6 May 1984.

The visit is intended to be a concrete sign to continue the path travelled over 60 years of diplomatic relations, with the courage to trace new paths of peace, as requested by Pope Francis on 16 September when he met with a group of Korean faithful. On that occasion, the Holy Father said, “I would then like to invite you to rediscover your vocation as ‘apostles of peace’ in every sphere of life… it is the stimulus to become companions on the road and witnesses of reconciliation; it is the credible testimony that the future is built not with the violent force of weapons, but with the gentle one of proximity”. – Vatican News