Members of North Korea’s Catholic community are invited to attend the upcoming mass that Pope Francis will lead in Seoul, South Korean officials said Sunday.
The invitation was reportedly extended when representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea and the Archdiocese of Seoul met members of the North Korean Catholic Church in Shenyang, China, May 18-19. South Korean officials said that the North Korean Catholics said they would carefully consider the request.
The pope will hold the mass at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul on August 18. While in Seoul, he is expected to call for peace between the two Koreas.
On Thursday Archbishop of Seoul and newly elected Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung made a surprise visit to the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea. While there he visited South Korean Catholic workers at the inter-Korean facility, saying that the purpose of the visit was to check on them in the aftermath of last year’s months-long shutdown of the facility.
Church officials have denied that Yeom’s visit was a precursor to a visit to North Korea by the pope later this summer.
Despite its well-known persecution of Christians, North Korea maintains a handful of churches in Pyongyang, one of which is Catholic. However, the authenticity of these churches is disputed.
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 221 words of this article.