Pope Francis reminded Catholic faithful of the significance of the Church in Asia in a preface to a book launched by Korean Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-Sik, prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy in the Vatican.
“The Church, in its theological and liturgical tradition has always turned to the East, and invites us to look there,” Pope Francis writes.
He says that “from the East rises the light, the sun of justice, the shining star that is Christ.”
The pope’s comments are found in the preface to the book “Lazzaro You Heung-Sik: As the lightning comes from the East,” which contains stories, anecdotes, and reflections by the cardinal.
Pope Francis says the Church “always needs to be enlightened by Christ and His Gospel” because it runs the risk of not being the Church Jesus intends.
“Jesus continues to be a scandal today, a sign of contradiction that challenges our securities and shakes up our hearts so that they are not paralysed by fear, imprisoned in hypocrisy, or hardened by sin,” writes the pope.
He says Cardinal Lazarus’ book aims “to give voice to the Church of the East,” adding that the Korean prelate “allows us to grasp the fruits of a faith sown in the land of martyrs and that have blossomed with simplicity thanks to the joyful witness of a living Church.”
The pope says that through the book, “We can glimpse the way for all of us to remain as a Church that is faithful to Jesus and His Gospel, far from all worldliness.”
He expresses his gratitude to Cardinal Lazarus and to the editors of the book, saying “we all need this light form the East.”
Pope Francis says the Church needs to listen and to journey to the East and learn from “a spiritual and ecclesial way of life that can reinvigorate our faith.” – from a Vatican News report