South Korea bishops have donated $1M to the Office of Papal Charities for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines to be donated to poorer countries.
The funds were sourced from donations from both Catholics and non-Catholics in Korea. Donors were encouraged to donate 60,000 won (around $52) which can already cover two doses of the vaccine. (Read: Metro Manila Dioceses To Hold Virtual Masses Until August 20)
2021 Jubilee Year
The donation campaign is part of the Church in South Korea’s 2021 Jubilee Year activities. The activities are in commemoration of the 200th birth anniversaries of St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Venerable Choe Yang-Eop Thomas.
“We are living through difficult times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul said, “The social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for those who live in poverty.” He added that South Korean Catholics can use this as an opportunity to give back and lend a helping hand to those who are struggling during this global health crisis. (Read: Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for August 2021)
Pope Francis thanked the South Korean bishops for their generous donation in a letter addressed to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea. “Through the generosity and brotherhood of the Korean church, those most suffering from the global pandemic of COVID-19 will be able to receive the help they need,” the pope said.
“We ask for the intercession of the Holy Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and Saint Andrew Kim, and grant the Bishop and all those whom he cares for the Papal Blessing, a guarantee of abundant grace of the Lord,” Pope Francis said.
Developed countries have donated hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of doses to poorer nations since the COVID-19 vaccines became available worldwide.
These donations are seen to augment the effects of the newly discovered COVID-19 variant strain, the Delta variant, which is said to be more contagious than the other mutations of the novel coronavirus. (Read: Here’s The Truth About The Delta COVID-19 Variant That You Should Know)
Many have been struggling to cope with the pandemic that has already lasted for over 16 months. People have lost jobs, businesses were forced to close, relatives and friends have died, and the world has seemingly been at a standstill since March 2020.