Former sex slaves to take part in South Korea Mass with pope

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran on April 7, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

A group of South Korean women who were used as sex slaves by the Japanese army during World War II will attend an Aug. 18 Mass with Pope Francis when he visits the country.

According to local media reports, the Archdiocese of Seoul announced on Monday that it had invited the women to take part in the ceremony with Pope Francis. The Mass will be held at the Cathedral of Myeongdong in Seoul. A personal meeting between the pontiff and the women, many of whom are Catholic, has not been set.

Pope Francis will visit South Korea Aug. 14-18 to take part in the VI Asian Youth Day. It will be the third time a pontiff has visited Asia, the last time being St. John Paul II’s trip to the Korean peninsula in 1989.

Some 200,000 young girls and teenagers – more than half of whom were Korean – were forced to become sex slaves by the Japanese empire, which ruled Korea from 1910 to 1945.

Japanese authorities denied involvement for years until clear evidence emerged, which led the Japanese government to issue an apology in 1993. However, the apology was not enough for Seoul, which has demanded reparations for the victims. Today there are some 54 women over the age of 80 who are survivors of the tragedy.


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Events

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August 29, 2015

  • Saturday, August 29

    Family Foster Care and Foster Adoption Info Meeting, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Children’s Bureau Family Center, 1910 Magnolia Ave., Los Angeles. Children’s Bureau invites willing adults to become a resource family to children in foster care. Qualifying individuals (single or married) receive training, certification and support. (213) 342-0168. www.all4kids.org.

    A Pattern of Love and Forgiveness, 10 a.m.-4p.m., Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes. Cheryl Wunsch, Med RNCS, will share her faith journey to forgive the young man who murdered her mother. $50, lunch included. (310) 377-4867. www.maryjoseph.org.

    Grand Marian Procession, 3 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W Temple St., Los Angeles. Banners, flags, color guards and bagpipers will highlight the processional parade which starts at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels with a Votive Mass and will end at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church “La Placita” with the benediction. www.thequeenofangels.comhttps://www.facebook.com/events/451624838374689/.

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