Aug 29, 2014 / 04:02 am
A former Korean ambassador to the Holy See spoke of the effects of Pope Francis’ recent visit to South Korea, saying that all of Asia now feels a long-term challenge to imitate his humble ways.
“All the media in Korea are already speaking of ‘Francis syndrome,’” former ambassador Thomas Han told CNA Aug. 26.
“The Korean people, having been deeply impressed by Pope Francis’ person and his lifestyle, seriously reflect upon the meaning of their lives and seek to see the things in life that really matter.”
Han explained that leaders “at every level of society” now feel an “unspoken pressure to make their own the leadership style the Korean people have witnessed in Pope Francis.”
“Therefore, it is safe to say that such ‘Francis syndrome’ will surely serve as a momentum for the Koreans to promote the culture of love, thereby contributing to authentic humanization of the Korean Peninsula in the long term.”
Pope Francis traveled to Seoul, South Korea Aug. 14-18, where he met with youth participating in the 6th Asian Youth Day, as well as with government officials, local Church leaders and heads of other faith traditions.
Marking the first time a Roman Pontiff has visited the peninsula since John Paul II went in 1989, the voyage has had an impact on the entire Asian continent, particularly the youth, who were touched by the Pope’s heart-to-heart way of communicating, and those affected by the Sewol ferry disaster that happened earlier this spring.
With the presence of Pope Francis in their midst, Koreans “were excited to verify what they had heard about him through the media,” Han observed.
“In a word, Pope Francis has at last satisfied their quenchless thirst for true leadership. His coherence between words and actions, his simple lifestyle, his humility, the way he embraced the poor, the disabled, the outcasts greatly impressed them.” …
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