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Pope, South Korean Ambassador Discuss Economic Ethics
Cindy Wooden
Source: Catholic News Service
Published: Friday, October 22, 2010
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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican is a very familiar place to South Korea's new ambassador to the Holy See; until recently, he was part of an international board of auditors working as advisers to the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

Han Hong-soon, the ambassador, formally presented his letters of credential to Pope Benedict XVI Oct. 21 and the two spoke about economic matters, particularly the moral obligation to recognize that economic decisions have ethical implications.

South Korea has experienced rapid economic growth, which "can all too easily bypass ethical considerations, with the result that the poorer elements in society tend to be excluded from their rightful share of the nation's prosperity," the pope said.

Pope Benedict praised the role of the Catholic Church in South Korea for its role in taking care of the poor and marginalized, especially "refugees and migrant workers who so often find themselves on the margins of society."

He said the church rightly challenges people to look beyond "the narrow pragmatism and partisan interests" of government and business, and instead recognize the obligation to treat all people with dignity, to defend the sacredness of human life, to promote stable families and to work for justice and peace.

The ambassador told the pope that his country "is ready to play a greater role in realizing a globalization in solidarity and a globalization without marginalization."

The new ambassador, who studied at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University, served as a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 1984 to 2010. He recently finished a two-year term as a member of the international college of auditors in the Vatican's budget oversight office.

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