The Marian Message of Pope Francis in Korea

The Papal visit to Korea (August 13th-18th, 2014) was his first trip to Asia and many commentators have already highlighted different geo-political aspects of it. Asia is one of the most promising regions in the world for the Roman Catholic in terms of potential growth. This is the reason why Pope Francis will visit Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January of 2015. Asia is inevitably related to China, where there is an on-going diplomatic challenge for the Vatican and its prudent attempt to deal with the Chinese government and the unsettled situation of Christian churches there. This is why Francis extensively spoke on the theme of “dialogue” and the fact that Christians in no way intend to “invade” anyone or any place. He was in Korea but certainly had China in the back of his mind and wanted to send a message there as well. Korea itself is a divided nation and the Pope addressed the painful memories and the reality of the separation between North and South Korea. On a more symbolic level, Asia is also very evocative for Jesuits in general. Five centuries ago Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) was the first Jesuit to go to China, and so the Jesuit Pope also feels the Asian attraction that is typical of many Jesuits.

Geo-political considerations aside, there were two main spiritual emphases of the visit: the usual Marian framework of Pope Francis and the elaboration of his missional view as far as the discipline of dialogue is concerned. This File concentrates on the first item while another one will deal with the second.

Click here for the remainder of Dr. Leonardo De Chirico’s article:

About the author

Chris Castaldo (PhD, London School of Theology) is the lead pastor at New Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois. He is the author of Talking with Catholics about the Gospel and coauthor of The Unfinished Reformation.


  1. This is one of the things that led me to separate from the RC church. De. De Chirico states is so well. We are not taught from the scripture to give Mary the same standing as Jesus. That is not anywhere in the Bible. Also, when I went through RCIA and asked about praying “to” anyone except a member of the Trinity, I was told that we pray “through” them, not “to” them. That is not the case in this instance or many others.

  2. Barbara:

    What you say about what Catholics believe about Mary and other matters is simply not correct.

    Mary is not God nor on equal spiritual footing with any person of the Holy Trinity.

    Mary was & is the Motherof Jesus. She was selected by God the Father to be Jesus’ Mother. She said Yes to God without any doubt and did His Will. Mary was His Disciple. As Catholics, we belief in the Communion of Saints–people who have died and in Heaven are not spiritually disconnected from those on Earth. We ask Mary and Barbara Monts to pray for us. We love and honor Mary as Jesus did. Jesus on the cross gave Mary to his Church so we follow His command that Mary is are Mother.

    To know Mary and the Catholic Church position on Mary, I point you to (1) Holy Scriptures, (2) Cathecism of the Catholic Church, (3) Catholic Answers on the internetand (4) EWTN with Mother Angelica, (5) Watch the Passion of Christ–focus on Mary and her interaction with Jesus–that is the Mary of the Catholic Church and Holy Scriptures. She is the perfect follower of Jesus.

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