Art exhibition marks 60 years of Korea-Vatican ties – UCA News

Art exhibition marks 60 years of Korea-Vatican ties - UCA News
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Art exhibition marks 60 years of Korea-Vatican ties

Laudato Si art exhibition in Seoul is dedicated to Korean and foreign Catholic martyrs

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Alfred Xuereb (3rd from right) and Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-Taick of Seoul (2nd from right) open an art exhibition at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul on June 14 to mark the 60th anniversary of South Korea-Vatican diplomatic relations. (Photo: Seoul Archdiocese)

Published: June 19, 2023 08:25 AM GMT

Seoul Archdiocese has sponsored a special art exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Holy See.

The Laudato Si’ art exhibition at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul runs from June 14-22, a press release from the archdiocese said.

On display are precious artwork from the Apostolic Nunciature in Korea, a Bronze Cross of the Chapel and two original papal bulls Pope Paul VI signed in 1963 and 1966, as well as artwork by members of the local artists association.

About 70 people attended the exhibition’s opening in the presence of Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, and Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-Taick of Seoul.

Xuereb said he was glad that Korean artists have been using their talents to spread the Good News.

“The Holy Father would be delighted to learn that Korean artists are so keen in promoting artistic work, particularly those with religious themes, as an efficacious way to spread the love for beauty and the Good News of the Gospel,” he said.

“On behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis, I send my heartfelt greetings and blessings. This meaningful exhibition will further solidify the special bond between Korea and the Holy See,” he added.

He encouraged Korean artists to spread the work of beauty with their love and skills to serve the world.

Chung said the artworks hold special significance as they highlight the ecological message of Pope Francis in his celebrated 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’.

“The exhibition shows how the members of the artists association artistically digested and expressed the teachings of Laudato Si’, an ecological way of thinking requested by the pope globally,” he said.

He also hoped that “many people will come to share and enjoy these meaningful expressions, engrave the will of the pope in their hearts, and become an opportunity to meditate on ecological life once more.”

Sophie Park, president of the artist association, said the exhibition is dedicated to the sacrifice of Korean and foreign Catholic martyrs.

“I would like to dedicate this exhibition in memory of the noble sacrifice of Bishop Patrick Byrne, who came to Korea as the first papal delegate in 1947 and was martyred in North Korea during the ‘Death March’ there in 1950, and the holy martyrdom of our ancestors. Because it is impossible to imagine the Korean Catholic Church of today without their sacrifices,” Park said.

“I hope that this exhibition will serve as an opportunity to create a venue for active cultural exchange between the Republic of Korea and the Holy See, and furthermore for many people,” she said.

The Holy See established the Vicariate Apostolic of Chosun in 1831 and appointed Byrne as the first apostolic delegate to Korea in 1947.

The Holy See and South Korea entered into official diplomatic relations on Dec. 11, 1963.

The appointment of Byrne as the papal delegate was a historic event with a special significance that a diplomatic envoy of the Holy See had been dispatched to Korea for the first time. Thanks to the support of the Holy See, the South Korean government got international recognition as a legitimate state at the third UN General Assembly held in Paris, France in 1948.

In addition to the special exhibition, numerous cultural and artistic events are scheduled to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Republic of Korea-the Holy See’s diplomatic ties.

The Concert for the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Korea and the Holy See planned by the Archdiocese of Seoul was scheduled to be held on June 19 at Myeongdong Cathedral.

Six religious choirs affiliated with the Council will present ‘Gloria’ by Antonio Vivaldi and medieval Gregorian chants during the event.

From Oct. 5 to Dec. 25, an exhibition titled ‘Towards the Common Good of the World Together’ hosted by the Martyrs Exaltation Committee of the Archdiocese of Seoul will be held at the Seosomun Shrine History Museum.

Visitors can have chances to look into the history of solidarity between Korea and the Vatican through historical materials and artifacts.

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