Korean Clergy Give Part of Salary to Help Unemployed

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SEOUL, South Korea, APR. 6, 2001 (ZENIT.org-FIDES).- The bishops and clergy of the Diocese of Inchon are digging into their own pockets to help support the education of the children of unemployed autoworkers.

For at least one year, Bishop William McNaughton, Coadjutor Bishop Boniface Choi Ki-san and numerous diocesan priests will contribute a tenth of their monthly salary to a fund for the children of dismissed workers of Daewoo Motor Company.

"Up to March 31, 60 priests had joined the project," Father Cho Tong-ho told the Vatican missionary agency Fides. This priest, who launched the initiative, is the director of the Department of Social Pastoral Care.

On hearing the news, other Catholic parishes and dioceses of South Korea started to do the same. The funds will be administered by the Pastoral Commission for Work of the city of Bupyeong, and allocated, in particular, to students in secondary schools who belong to families of former Daewoo Motor employees. All the unemployed, regardless of religious creed, will be able to request aid.

Father Cho told Fides that it "is a good occasion to remind priests that they must be the first to be concerned about someone in a situation of need."