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North Korea declines Pope's invite to mass

North Korea Declines Pope's Invite To Mass

It isn't easy to turn down an invitation to Mass when it comes from Pope Francis himself, but North Korea reportedly did just that.

The Korean Catholics Association, which operates the only Catholic Church in North Korea, declined to send a delegation to a Mass that will be held by Pope Francis Aug. 18 in Seoul's Myeongdong Cathedral. (Via Rome Reports)

Rome Reports points out the Mass is scheduled for the same day as a joint military drill between the U.S. and South Korea. In a letter the KCA said, "Under these circumstances, going to Seoul would be an agonizing step."

South Korean newspaper ​JoongAng Daily writes last month KCA officials said, "There is a lot of consideration in going to Seoul right now." A South Korean Catholic official told the outlet in "North Korean lingo 'a lot of consideration' is a polite abstention."

The Korean Catholics Association is not part of the Vatican, leaving North Korea without a bishop. It's instead run by the North Korean government, which doesn't have the best track record when it comes to religious freedom.

A former North Korean resident writes in NK News, which is a privately owned news site focusing on North Korea, "Even though the North Korean constitution officially states that it allows the freedom of religion, this freedom simply does not exist in the North.​"

The Wall Street Journal writes churches and other places of worship in Pyongyang are operated by the state to give the illusion of religious freedom, reporting "North Korea's leadership cult acts as a quasi-religion that officials worry could be undermined by the spread of religion in the country."

The quasi-religion that the nation operates under is called Juche, a Marxist ideology authored by Kim Il Sung - Kim Jong-un's grandfather.

Despite North Korea's policies on religion, there is still a Catholic presence in the country, although its unclear how big that presence is.

In June 2013, Vatican Insider wrote there are an estimated 10,000 Catholics in North Korea, although the state claims there are only 3,000. A South Korean priest said Catholic services at one church in North Korea are run by a layman as there are no Catholic priests in the country.

Pope Francis will also meet with the families of victims and survivors of South Korea's Sewol ferry disaster, which left more than 300 passengers dead or missing in April.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
R August 07 2014 at 1:21 AM

That wacko in North Korea is mental and very dangerous.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
2 replies
tony R August 07 2014 at 2:14 AM

mizz r, is thee qualified as an official shrink to make such flappings?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
Happypoolprune tony August 07 2014 at 2:09 PM

You don't need to qualify as an official shrink to know that North Korea has a wacko as a leader. Even lay persons can see that - and any flappings here are from your lips.

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ramonbatt R August 07 2014 at 12:44 PM

The wacko in North Korea has the best Allie in the world. He has Russia. Russia and China are as one. USA allies? EU ? What of a joke. The idiot in Washington sure show Putin who is the boss? Sanctions on Russia is a freaken joke. Russia is going to laugh all the way to the bank by increasing energy to EU by 40 to 60%? Russia can get whatever from Mexico also all Latin America. Russia has nothing to loose.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
marianicole62 August 07 2014 at 7:26 AM

I can't believe that there isn't one sharp shooter in that country that can't take that little tub of lard down.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
2 replies
Apple marianicole62 August 07 2014 at 1:40 PM

LOL.....funny but appropriate nick name...haaaa

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Jean Hayes marianicole62 August 07 2014 at 2:17 PM

Ahhhhhhhhh So funny, he is that alright and that goofy haircut! Dennis Rodman should move there

Flag Reply +1 rate up
rcalley1 August 07 2014 at 10:49 AM

Get rid of this Jabba the Hut! Use any means possible.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
dracura94 August 07 2014 at 1:59 AM

I would be very pleased if someone blew ILL DUNG POOP's brains out.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
tony dracura94 August 07 2014 at 2:17 AM

Thou be advocating premeditated MURDER. Only the cia and the nsa and the fbi is allowed to kill and murder any 1 they want to. Thee is in big trouble. Have a
nice day.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
aljoramaggio August 07 2014 at 1:52 AM

Sad, but not surprising, since "Lil' Kim is worshiped as a Deity, and there's room for no other!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
eareadjr August 07 2014 at 2:43 AM

Just say no to superstition.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
lesatlesa eareadjr August 07 2014 at 11:49 AM

Is worshiping a man better????

Flag Reply 0 rate up
tmlbtb August 07 2014 at 10:41 AM

The Pope needs to warn him about too much inbreeding in the leadership over there.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
dr scott kanner August 07 2014 at 4:07 PM

Not unless its Pope Rodman I

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Apple August 07 2014 at 1:39 PM

North Korean leaders suck big time!!!!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
skydrop007 August 07 2014 at 1:40 PM

NK terrorists need medical care...


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