Six members of South Korea’s parliament visited Loppiano. In particular, their interest in peace, education, economics and dialogue. The trip to Italy to pay tribute to fellow countryman, the newly appointed Lazaro Cardinal You Heung-sik.
“When we arrived I felt like I was entering the past, but then I found myself projected into the future.” Visits to the citadel by dignitaries from various spheres and cultures are always a cause for joy but also a test of what Loppiano witnesses and to what extent. The reported impression is of an MP from South Korea who recently came for the first time to the open-air laboratory called Loppiano. Together with five other colleagues (among them, a woman) and two secretaries, the MP was part of the official delegation from the South Korean Parliament (the Parliament consists only of the House) that arrived in Rome to coincide with the August 27 Consistory, , in which compatriot Archbishop Lazaro You Heung-sik, was created Cardinal by the Pope. Since June 2021 Archbishop Lazaro was prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy.
The members of the delegation are well acquainted with the newly appointed to- be- cardinal and did not want to miss a very special occasion. At the same time, they are in contact with the “Political Forum for Unity,” animated by the South Korean Political Movement for Unity, and a member of the delegation is co-chair of the Forum itself. Coming to Italy then constituted a unique opportunity to visit the International Focolare Center – also greeting President Karram and Co-president Moran – and meet with a representative of the world secretariat of the Political Movement for Unity. August 28 and 29 were dedicated to the citadel.
Loppiano was presented with its history and Gospel-enlightened excerpts from the lives of those who have lived for years in war situations in Angola and Syria, a Swiss priest on mission in Asia, and a couple from Costa Rica who accompany families at the Loreto School. . Then, a short presentation of the politician Igino Giordani by Colomba Kim in their Korean language. “How difficult it is for politicians to live for peace. Here we saw light and peace in your faces,” commented one of the deputies.
The group was very interested in learning about the Sophia University Institute of Loppiano because of the particular formation it pursues, that of a growth of the whole person in an interdisciplinary way and not only the academic offer of a professional preparation. The meeting with some Sophia faculty members, coordinated by Professor Ropelato, was preceded by a dialogue with economist Luigino Bruni, who presented the Economy of Communion and the Economy of Francis. “I always have the life of the youth at heart,” the youngest member of the group pointed out. “Personally, I find the program very interesting, even if intense. It encouraged me strongly to go forward.”
What future did the six South Korean parliamentarians see for themselves? “We saw that Loppiano is a city of dialogue,” – they reported at the time of their farewells, “while we are used to focusing on competition in order to win. And furthermore, “We are a divided nation, so dialogue is essential.” In short, it certainly seems that it was worthwhile for them to come to the citadel. So much so that one parliamentarian concluded by quoting a saying from their culture, “Better to go and see and experience than to hear about it a hundred times.”