The Archdiocese of Seoul has sent US $ 1 million to the Holy See to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines for poor countries and populations in need. The donation is the result of a fundraising campaign carried out in the Archdiocese of Seoul: the campaign aimed to raise awareness among the faithful and all citizens to ensure equitable, timely and universal access to Covid-19 vaccines for all the countries of the world.
Funds were raised by 234 parishes and organizations in Seoul at the initiative and coordination of the “ One Body One Spirit Movement” ecclesial movement born on the occasion of the 44th International Eucharistic Congress held in Seoul in 1989.
The initiative was launched in recent months in line with the exhortation of the Holy Father Francis to guarantee universal access to vaccines. For this reason, the Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK) decided to launch the “ Vaccine Sharing Campaign” at its general assembly last spring, held from 8 to 12 March. The campaign aimed to raise awareness and offer a direct contribution to help the universal distribution of vaccines in the world, especially in the poorest countries. The organizers recalled that Pope Francis and the Holy See have launched an appeal to the rich nations of the world to ensure that anti-Covid vaccines are available as soon as possible for people living in poor countries.
Adding to this concern, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, launched a public appeal to raise funds encouraging the faithful to make donations. Fr. Matthias Young-yup Hur, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Seoul, stated in a message sent to Fides by the Archdiocesan Communication Office: “ 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” .
The campaign will last until November 27, 2021, the last day of the Jubilee of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon, the first Korean Catholic priest and patron saint of Korea. The organization is guaranteed above all thanks to the presence of the volunteers of the “ One Body One Spirit Movement” , committed to “ working to create a world of peace according to the spirit of the Sacrament of the Eucharist” .
Started by the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan in 1988, the movement is now an active part of the Caritas Seoul network, and operates in many fields such as international development cooperation and social services.